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The Falling Away, sodomite version

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October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
September 11, 2017, 03:40:40 am Christian40 says: those in america should better repent or things will only get worse
September 08, 2017, 08:03:04 pm Psalm 51:17 says: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wildfires-rage-west-amid-scorching-temperatures/story?id=49677869

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There are currently 78 large wildfires burning in eight western states, including Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and California.

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Author Topic: The Falling Away, sodomite version  (Read 5801 times)
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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2014, 11:07:02 am »

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“There’s no real indication monogamous, gay partnerships were the aim of the Biblical texts, but there were some very clearly examples of exploitative same-sex sexuality, like temple prostitution or slave sex, masters requiring slaves to perform sexual services as part of their ownership of them,” he stated. “The Sodom and Gomorrah story is about gang ****. It’s not about anything like loving monogamous relationships. To apply that to the issue of homosexuality is a gross misuse of Scripture.”

And it's these very false perverted versions that REPLACE sodomites with this very word(temple prostitution) - ultimately, we see the where the poisonous root source IS.
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« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2014, 08:18:07 am »

Can A Divided Publishing House Stand?

 You can be gay and Christian: That’s the message of a book due out next week from a publishing group known until now for its evangelical worldview. But the book will emerge from a new imprint designed to allow the publishing house to avoid alienating its evangelical market.

Convergent Books, a publishing imprint under the same corporate umbrella and leadership as the evangelical WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, is scheduled to release God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vinesnext Tuesday. Vines, a 24-year-old former Harvard student, attempts to refute biblical passages that declare homosexuality a sin.

WaterBrook Multnomah, known for its best-selling Christian titles such as John Piper’s Desiring God and books by evangelical authors David Jeremiah and Kay Arthur, began as the printing arm of Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Ore. But mainstream secular publisher Penguin Random House now owns the imprint and groups it under the same corporate umbrella, Crown Publishing Group, as Convergent.

Stephen W. Cobb, who heads up both WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent out of the publishing group’s Colorado Springs, Colo., offices, told me Tuesday that Convergent’s audience is “actively exploring and practicing faith and framing that faith in Christian terms, but they’re very open in their approach to issues that face the church today, and they really defy conventional labels.”

The most visible link between WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent is Cobb himself, who said he makes the final decision to publish each imprint’s books, including God and the Gay Christian.

“Books will publish in the Convergent imprint that I could not have considered for publication prior to [the new imprint’s] creation, because [the books] would just not have been appropriate for the established audience of Multnomah or WaterBrook,” he said.

Cobb attempted to put an imaginary cushion between evangelical Christians—including some of WaterBrook Multnomah’s authors—and others who would give credence to Vines’ justification of homosexuality.

“Generally speaking, I wouldn’t expect a Multnomah reader to be drawn to a Convergent title,” he said, pointing out that books published under the WaterBrook Multnomah imprint, such as Out of a Far Country by Christopher and Angela Yuan, offer contrary “points of view” that defend a straightforward interpretation of the Bible’s teaching against homosexuality.

Though Cobb insisted he has no agenda to change the way the church views homosexuality, his attitude recasts a showdown between truth and heresy as a mere debate between equally plausible positions. World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns made a similar argument when he announced a change in his company’s hiring policy to include employees in same-sex marriages. He insisted to Christianity Today that World Vision was not taking a stand for or against gay marriage, but rather striving for unity on a divisive issue. Evangelical leaders didn’t accept his position, and World Vision’s board of directors rescinded the change.

“Don’t say, ‘Hath God said?’ and then tell us you’re doing it to advance the gospel and the unity of the church,”wrote Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in response to World Vision’s change.

Cobb acknowledged that God and the Gay Christian contradicts the teachings of books he has published in the past. To his knowledge, he said, Vines’ book was the first published by the four imprints he oversees that arrives at the conclusion that a person can practice homosexuality with the acceptance and approval of God.

Will Vines’ book be the first of many from Convergent to challenge orthodox biblical beliefs? I asked Cobb where he would draw the line in publishing books that oppose evangelical beliefs.

“Matthew believes in the inerrancy and the divinity and the correctness of Scripture,” he responded. “He believes it is God’s inspired Word. I have seen things, proposals have crossed my desk that the author does not have that core belief. … I want to believe that every book that publishes on my watch, whichever imprint it publishes in, is biblically based and developed credibly.”

http://www.christianheadlines.com/news/can-a-divided-publishing-house-stand.html
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« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2014, 09:09:36 am »

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Though Cobb insisted he has no agenda to change the way the church views homosexuality, his attitude recasts a showdown between truth and heresy as a mere debate between equally plausible positions. World Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns made a similar argument when he announced a change in his company’s hiring policy to include employees in same-sex marriages. He insisted to Christianity Today that World Vision was not taking a stand for or against gay marriage, but rather striving for unity on a divisive issue. Evangelical leaders didn’t accept his position, and World Vision’s board of directors rescinded the change.

And THAT'S where they are playing this crafty Hegelian Dialectic game - in order to get everyone worn out over even thinking about it at the end of the day.
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« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2014, 10:28:55 pm »

Reformation Or Revolution? A Review Of God And The Gay Christian

April 23, 2014 | Andrew Walker
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Imagine a book with a thesis that calls into question 2,000 years of established Christian theology and biblical exegesis. It recasts basic principles of biblical anthropology and human embodiment. It also puts two millennia of faithful obedience to divine revelation on the side of injustice and ignorance. Now, Christians are accustomed to either non-Christians or liberal Christians making claims of this nature, but not from individuals supposedly nestled confidently within the evangelical camp.

This week a book making such claims is hitting bookshelves written by a young author named Matthew Vines.

Readers may not be familiar with Matthew Vines. But you will need to know him, for the movement he is leading aims to change the way the evangelical church thinks about human sexuality. At the very least, his work will help advance the coming rupture in the evangelical church at large over issues of sexuality.

Vines is a former Harvard student whose 2012 video taking aim at the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality went viral. Raised in a conservative evangelical home, Vines struggled with his sexuality while attending Harvard. Finally admitting his same-sex attraction, he came out as gay, left school, returned home, and devoted himself to studying all that the Bible teaches on homosexuality. He emerged from his study convinced that loving and committed same-sex relationships are consistent with the Bible and evangelical faith.

He has not only come to terms with faithful homosexual relationships, Vines has become an activist determined to alter the church’s long-held belief that homosexual conduct is sinful. Vines’ organization, “The Reformation Project,” has one, clear, unmistakable goal in mind: to see the Christian church affirm homosexual relationships. His new book, God and the Gay Christian, is the first step in a larger effort to fundamentally recast long-held, universally acknowledged norms pertaining to sexual ethics.

What makes Vines’ book unique is that Vines does not consider himself a theological liberal. He proudly brandishes the identity of a conservative evangelical, claiming to uphold the authority of Bible, affirming its full inspiration and authority. Throughout the book, he quotes John Piper and Tim Keller, thus signaling his evangelical bona fides.

In the marketing materials for God and the Gay Christian, Vines is a theological wunderkind having found the formula for making biblical authority and homosexuality compatible. Vines no doubt believes the authenticity and sincerity of his interpretation and indeed, that is where the heart of this book resides. As the reader soon discovers, Vines doesn’t believe the error in understanding homosexuality is found within the Scriptures, but in our interpretation.

Along these very lines, he cites Galileo’s embattlement with the Catholic Church to help justify the new rationale he’s advocating. Like Vines, Galileo wasn’t advocating the abandonment of Scripture, but certain interpretations of Scripture in light of new discoveries about the universe. For Galileo, it was a heliocentric universe. For Vines, it’s the recognition that homosexuality according to our modern understanding is morally praiseworthy. He writes: “My larger argument is this: Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships” (3). He attempts to maintain an evangelical account of biblical authority while attributing error to reader interpretation. What I hope to show in this review is that the integrity of Vines’ interpretation is an anomaly unfitting for evangelical consumption or approval.

A few comments are needed, however, about the timing and context of this book.

If I were mapping a playbook for the gay rights movement, this book is an important point in the strategy. It has to be written in order to introduce confusion within the evangelical firmament, one of the last remaining constituencies in America that has not embraced homosexuality with gusto. This book need not be 100 percent compelling or accurate in order to succeed. All that needs to happen for Vines to claim victory is for his readers to be confused and not necessarily convinced of his argument.

Vines will have succeeded in re-fashioning evangelicalism in his image by allowing sexuality to be treated hermeneutically akin to baptism or the Lord’s Supper. If Vines can blur the lines of interpretation, such that evangelicals can rest at ease with “disagreement at how best to interpret Scripture on sexuality,” he will have succeeded. If he can convince evangelicals that sexuality is an issue that can be reduced to secondary status, such as the mode of baptism or the proper form of church governance, his efforts will have succeeded. That’s what makes this book so pernicious: It’s primed to strike at a time when many evangelical Christians are looking for a way to bail on historic Christian teachings on sexuality—because it makes us culturally foreign and estranged, unsophisticated, non-cosmopolitan, and—gasp—unpopular.

Indeed, if I were a mega-church pastor who stood to gain or lose on this issue and I was wanting to bypass the contentious debate on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, God and the Gay Christian is the book I’d look to and handout to members of my church.

It’s rather appalling that Vines’ organization is called “The Reformation Project,” a title synonymous with the movement of Martin Luther, because there’s a simple, yet glaring error in how he understands the reference to “Reformation.” Luther never believed the church had been in error from its beginning. He wasn’t calling for the rejection of long-held beliefs; instead, Luther was reaffirming the faith “once and for all delivered to the saints.” Vines, in contrast, is calling for Revolution, the type consistent with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Vines believes the church has been wrong for 2,000 years.

The early Church Fathers—wrong. Augustine—wrong. The Roman Catholic Church—wrong. Luther, Calvin—all wrong. But I wonder if Vines is willing to accept the alternative—that he’s wrong? Here are the stakes of this book: If Vines is right, the Christian Church must repudiate its long-held teaching. But if Vines is wrong, he isn’t just leading people down the path of error; he’s leading people down the path to hell by denying that homosexual sin needs to be repented of.

Summary

If I was to condense the substance of Vines’ book, here’s what is happening: Vines has compiled liberal biblical scholarship and popularized it for a non-technical audience. Let me be clear: Vines is not advancing new arguments. In fact, his work draws largely from existing gay-affirming scholarship. Vines is making liberal scholarship accessible for common audiences and then compounding its effect by bringing in the emotionally laden context of our times.

Space prevents me from working through a thorough chapter-by-chapter synopsis and the arguments he cites with each relevant text, though resources to counteract his hermeneutical errors will be provided. I would, however, like to hit upon four significant arguments that Vines advocates and considers central in each chapter of his book. These theses form the basis of his interaction and criticisms of the six “clobber passages” in Scripture that condemn homosexuality. What Vines does is filter each of the six passages through his hermeneutical grid, thus allowing him to say that the Bible intends or can be adapted to communicate his point of view, but got lost in a sea of misunderstanding and bigotry.

There are four main theses of God and the Gay Christian. I’ll explain each thesis separately and then provide interaction in a following section.

Thesis 1: Vines believes the historic position that the church has held on homosexuality leads to “bad fruit” in the lives of homosexuals.

Drawing off imagery used by Jesus, Vines insist that only practices that enrich a person’s life meet the criteria of “good fruit.” Hence, the historic Christian position that celibacy and chastity is expected for all those with same-sex attraction is considered “bad fruit,” because it consigns would-be committed, loving same-sex couples to a life of separation, psychological duress, and unrequited love.

His sexuality made him uncomfortable with the Bible’s prohibition on homosexuality and he began “losing confidence in the belief that same-sex relationships are sinful: it no longer made sense” (12). He continues: “As I became more aware of same-sex relationships, I could not understand why they were supposed to be sinful, or why the Bible apparently condemned them. With most sins, it wasn’t hard to pinpoint the damage they cause. Adultery violates a commitment to your spouse. Lust objectifies others. Gossip degrades people. But committed same-sex relationships did not easily fit that pattern. Not only were they not harmful to anyone, they seemed to be characterized by positive motives and traits instead, like faithfulness, commitment, mutual love, and self-sacrifice” (13).

So, for Vines, “If something bears bad fruit, it cannot be a good tree. And if something bears good fruit, it cannot be a bad tree” (15). Homosexual relationships, for Vines, bear good fruit.

It is important to recognize here that Vines’ a priori assumption brings a moral category to the Bible itself without first subjecting one’s moral assumptions to the text itself.

Thesis 2: The world of the Bible does not speak to the issue of a modern and comprehensive understanding of sexual orientation.

Says Vines:

“Same-sex behavior in the first century was not understood to be the expression of an exclusive sexual orientation. It was understood as excess on the part of those who could easily be content with heterosexual relationships, but who went beyond them in search of more exotic pleasures” (129).

“The Bible does not directly address the issue of same-sex orientation—or the expression of that orientation. While its six references to same-sex behavior are negative, the concept of same-sex behavior is sexual excess, not sexual orientation. What’s more, the main reason that non-affirming Christians believe the Bible’s statements should apply to all same-sex relationships—men and women’s anatomical complementarity—is not mentioned in any of the passages” (133).

Thesis 3: The Bible speaks without any reference to the modern knowledge of faithful, loving, and committed same-sex couples.

Pertaining to Romans 1, Vines says that Paul omits all references to “love, fidelity, monogamy, or commitment. So should we understand Paul’s words to apply to all same-sex relationships, or only to lustful, fleeting ones? How we answer that question has profound implication for our conversation in this book. If there is a substantial difference between the type of behavior Paul condemned and the intimate, committed relationships of gay Christians, then he has not relegated our gay friends and loved ones to the proverbial dustbin. But if his moral objection in Romans 1 was not primarily about lustfulness, but about the anatomical complementarity of men and women intended by ‘nature,’ then that rationale would extend to all same-sex relationships” (102).

Vines believes that Paul is condemning sexual acts based on “excess passion.”

Thesis 4: The patriarchal context within the world of the Bible explains the prohibitions against homosexuality.

Vines writes about “Customary and Uncustomary Gender Roles,” saying:

“In the ancient world, if a man took the active role in sex, his behavior was deemed ‘natural.’ But if he took the passive role, he was derided for engaging in ‘unnatural sex.’ The opposite was true for women: Sexual passivity was termed ‘natural,’ while sexual dominance was ‘unnatural.’ Same-sex relations challenged those beliefs about nature and sex by putting a male in the passive role or a female in the active role. That inversion of accepted gender roles, combined with the non-procreative character of same-sex unions, is why ancient writers called same-sex behavior ‘unnatural’” (111).

He continues: “These texts show how the terms ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ were used in ancient writings. They were not synonyms for ‘straight’ and ‘gay.’ They were boundary markers between what did and did not conform to customary gender roles in a patriarchal context” (112).

Gender roles, Vines argues, issue from a patriarchal worldview evident throughout antiquity and within the world of the Bible. In a time where women were seen as inferior to men, it would be wrong for a man to place himself in the passive and thus, female, role in sex. This thesis allows for Vines to see Scripture prohibiting excess lust and passion, not a normative condemnation of homosexuality itself. He says that the argument against homosexuality based on “nature” and “anatomical complementarity” as evidenced in the work of Robert Gagnon is “speculative” (114). So according to Vines, Scripture does not condemn homosexuality, what it actually condemns—by way of patriarchy—is a man mimicking a women’s role in sex. Had Paul had a modern understanding of sexual orientation, Vines believes the Scripture’s narrative arc would lead toward condoning and celebrating homosexuality and “marriage equality.”

Aside from offering personal biography peppered with a highly unusual concept of celibacy, Vines spends the middle section of his book addressing and correcting what he sees are wrong interpretations of the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality. Vines presents the offending text, offers rebuttal from liberal scholarship, and then weaves in either one or all theses mentioned above. He concludes that the church throughout the ages has been, ostensibly, “on the wrong side of history” when it comes to biblical interpretation.

What one will observe is that refashioning of texts condemning homosexual conduct also requires Vines to refashion central themes of the entire Bible. For example, he is forced to render established principles such as the complementarity of human physiology and anatomical complementarity as irrelevant to the Bible’s teaching on sexuality and marriage. He is forced to extinguish the significance of Ephesians 5 from its immediate context. [1] Vines writes,

“So according to Ephesians, gender difference is not necessary to become one flesh in Bible’s understanding of those words. What is necessary is that two lives are joined in the context of a binding covenant” (148).

A similar move is made in his re-interpretation of Romans 1 and Genesis 1-3. Vines is forced to advance untenable and awkward interpretations that wreak havoc on the text’s authorial clarity—that God’s creation of male and female is somehow not uniquely orientated around biological difference, but rather “covenant keeping.” And, ostensibly, Jesus must be wrong in affirming the creational structure of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6. And this is the key problem with Vines’ project: To accept his arguments, one has to question almost the entire narrative of Christianity’s most basic teachings—marriage, human embodiment, biblical anthropology, etc. Vines’ interpretations require that we overturn two millennia of church teaching.

Interaction

For saying he has a high view of the authority of Scripture, Vines is wholly dependent on scholars and books that are no respecters of biblical authority. He has drawn exclusively from a pool of scholars stalwartly liberal and hostile to evangelical hermeneutics. What Vines has done is put together a piecemeal re-telling of liberal hermeneutics for a lay-level readers.

First, Vines’ interaction with conservative scholarship is specious. While he likely has read and interacted with individuals such as Robert Gagnon, he did not elucidate any clear interaction with heavyweight scholarship such as Gagnon in the book. Dismissively, at one point Vines calls Gagnon’s work “speculative” on the issue of creation and human nature, something that cannot be done against the weight of evidence in The Bible and Homosexual Practice, what many consider the definitive work on the topic.

But as to the larger aspects of his four main arguments, responding to Vines can be done in tandem.

It becomes apparent from the introduction that Vines’ basic thesis regarding orientation is not derived from the text of Scripture. Rather, the moral force of his argument in favor of legitimizing homosexual desire is used to explain away the text. Which is to say, he’s relying on some other authority for his basic claim—namely, an extra-textual moral authority that neither the history of scriptural interpretation nor church history considers valid. This is evidenced immediately by way of his appeal to “good fruit” and “bad fruit.” Vines does not appeal to the actual exegesis of this imagery in Scripture, but rather employs it in order to enact a moral pronouncement based on a lived and subjective experience. Vines’ argument is first a moral presupposition, followed by a belief that the Scriptures could affirm homosexuality based on the cavalier exegesis and theological interpretation he offers.

Let’s examine Vines’ second assumption: The Bible is silent on “sexual orientation.”

First, just because the biblical authors may not have elucidated an understanding of sexual orientation in modern terms, it does not mean that they didn’t have at least some recognition that individuals of their time were expressively and uniformly homosexual. This is the point that Gagnon makes in his work.

Gagnon has showed convincingly in his volume that New Testament writers like Paul wrote in a context that “could not have been unaware of the existence of men whose sexual desire was oriented exclusively toward other males.”[2] Gagnon cites multiple classical sources that demonstrate this familiarity. To insist, as Vines does, that a classical Greek like Paul would have lacked this understanding lacks warrant itself. Vines merely assumes that Paul could not have familiarity with this concept, despite classical sources proving otherwise. Vines nowhere proves that Paul lacked familiarity with men interested in homosexual relations only. Moreover, an argument in favor of orientation and against conduct is a bifurcation read into the text.

Scripture may not have a highly developed explanation for the modern categories of same-sex attraction such that is a now an “orientation.” In one sense, it’s anachronistic to read our time back into Paul’s. But Paul was not ignorant. He was a man of his times, steeped in the soaring intellectual arguments of his day. He was also infused with the Spirit of God to author what he did. A well-developed understanding of “orientation” in modern terms does not mean that a semblance of this feature is absent from Scripture. What Scripture does unequivocally prohibit and consider sinful, however, is the manifestation of these desires in homosexual sex. Working backwards, it seems sensible to conclude that if the branch (homosexual sex) is considered falling short of God’s intended sexual design, so too is the root (homosexual attraction/desire/attraction).

Liberal scholar William Loader—who is in favor of same-sex marriage—has acknowledged similar claims in his book The New Testament on Sexuality.

Loader states that Paul’s indictment of homosexual relations in Romans 1:26-27 “included, but [was] by no means limited to exploitative pederasty,” “sexual abuse of male slaves,” or “same-sex acts … performed within idolatrous ritual contexts” (325). “Without differentiation he condemns all with such sexual attitudes and desires” (326). Same-sex relationships in the Greco-Roman world “could include lifelong consensual adult partnerships” (324). “It is inconceivable that [Paul] would approve of any same-sex acts if, as we must assume, he affirmed the prohibitions of Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 as fellow Jews of his time understood them” (322). Again, “it is also hard to imagine that Paul would approach [issues of homosexual practice] without awareness of the prohibition of same-sex relations in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, which had come to be applied to both men and women” (314).

This is a devastating blow to Vines’ entire argument. Indeed, the hinge of Vines’ argument is really whether Paul and the Bible have a comprehensive understanding of human sexuality vaguely reminiscent of “sexual orientation.” The question of gay identity is superfluous from the condemnation of acts that issue from a gay identity.

As to Vines’ third and fourth theses, he writes that Paul is in fact writing within a patriarchal worldview and views the female sexual role as unfitting for a male to perform. But there’s an authorial intent question at play, one especially relevant to questions of biblical inspiration: Doesn’t Paul still have the right to say, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that sodomitical acts—whether lustful or monogamous—are wrong; that a man should not penetrate another man in a way that chafes against sexual design, regardless of a patriarchal context? Vines assumes that it could only be patriarchy that accounts for a condemnation of sodomy, something that he infers and does not exhaustively demonstrate. What Vines ignores is that even loving, committed, and monogamous homosexuals are engaged in a sexual act that Paul finds contrary to sexual design. That Paul would enlist sodomitical acts as a particularly vivid illustration of human rebellion in Romans 1, it seems compelling that the repugnance that Paul displays is characteristic of all sodomitical acts, lustful or monogamous.

Gagnon writes:

The description of excess passion was a way of demeaning a desire that on other grounds had already been evaluated as abominable; otherwise, how would the author know to characterize the passion as excess? In other words, the characterization of homosexual desire as excessive lust is incidental or supplementary to a prior revulsion toward such conduct.[3]

If Vines’ thesis about sexual orientation is knocked down (and we have historical and textual evidence that it should be) his other arguments fall as well. For if homosexuality—whether in orientation or in practice—is considered a disordered passion, then commitment and monogamy are irrelevant. And so is the question of patriarchy. If Paul is correct in holding to a sexual teleology inherited from a Jewish worldview that saw sodomy as inherently sinful, charges that Paul viewed women as somehow inferior is sublimated under the larger concern that men should not be performing deviant sexual acts—not because they shouldn’t be acting like women, but because anatomical structure was not designed with such actions in mind. Again, one can accept Vines’ argument only if he’s argued convincingly against other themes such as “one flesh” and “nature,” which he has not.[4]

Every issue related to sexual and anatomical complementarity is done only in the context of charges of patriarchy. He simply does not posit any meaningful interaction about the anatomical difference of male and female. For Vines, the Bible cannot posit positive teaching about the significance of male and female embodiment, for if it does, it chafes against his argument. Additionally, questions about human embodiment and sexual architecture are simply missing. From this vantage point, procreation is merely ancillary to the biblical drama that promises salvation through a procreative vehicle (Gen. 3:15).

Throughout the volume I found myself having to willfully suspend disbelief in order to accept his hermeneutics. That’s not because I’ve been immersed in evangelical interpretations such that I’ve become immune from finding liberal arguments compelling, but simply because the interpretations Vines offers are, simply, bizarre.

Vines may read this review and reply, “That’s what I’m saying, the Bible is far more complex on these issues than supposedly ‘settled interpretation’ would have one think.” But this belies a key fault at play in Vines’ work: There are credible and overwhelming amounts of biblical scholarship confirming the traditional biblical interpretation concerning homosexuality. What Vines does is use a set of moral assumptions, insisting that those moral assumptions have to be accounted for, and then finds a way to explain away what the text seems to be saying on the surface. The question for him therefore becomes: What is the basis for this moral assumption that homosexual acts are morally legitimate?

If we account for the Bible’s traditional teaching on homosexuality being correct (and we have exegetical and historic evidence to suggest it is), Vines has two options: 1) To abandon the Bible’s authority, thus negating his evangelical credibility; or 2) Be at peace with representing a minority opinion within biblical scholarship, an opinion that goes against settled scholarship that both liberals and conservatives accept. It seems best to suggest that Vines take “option 1” and admit his disavowal of biblical authority.

But there’s a question that left me with an ache about this book. Matthew Vines is clear that homosexuality and homosexual marriage are to be embraced and celebrated in the life of the church. But here’s my question: If something so vital to Christian theology and human existence has been left ignored and so patently in error, how did it get left out until now? Why should we believe that the church is wrong, now, on issues like sexuality? If there were an opportunity for same-sex marriage and homosexuals to be given its equal place, wouldn’t it have been given its place already—especially in a far more homoerotic culture such as Greek and Roman culture? If we can’t trust the church’s history of interpretation on such things as sexuality, what can we trust it with?

Conclusion

It is likely that Matthew Vines will read this review. As I wrote it, I thought to myself, what would I tell Matthew if we were to sit down over coffee and discuss his book?

First, I would tell him that I love him, and that he’s deserving of dignity and respect as an image bearer of God. I would apologize to him for what I can only assume are the countless insensitivities and insults he’s experienced as a same-sex attracted person. I would also apologize to Matthew for the pat, unhelpful answers and rejection he’s received from Christians who don’t know how to speak about homosexuality.

Secondly, I would give him a copy of Wesley Hill’s book. I would point him toward the testimony and work of my friend Sam Allberry’s book and heroic ministry, Living Out. I would tell him of Rosaria Butterfield, whose testimony is a witness to the power of the gospel. I would be honest and tell him that these ministries provide more hopeful, and holistic narratives.

Third, because I love and respect him, I would be compelled to tell him that he’s deceived. He’s believed the lie that homosexuality will prosper his life. Fourth, I would implore Matthew to repent of a book designed to cast a shadow of suspicion and doubt about the Scripture’s teaching on sexuality. Fifth, I would exhort him to a path of discipleship with incalculable unknowns—unknown difficulties I will not experience and can only sympathize with. But I will commend him to set his desires before the cross, knowing that Jesus is better than any desire we think needs satisfied; that Jesus is better than marriage, than children, than sexual fulfillment itself. I would tell him about costly obedience. I would tell him about radical self-abandonment, something I imperfectly attempt each day. I would tell him the story of the Rich Young Ruler, reprised for today, and reframed around the issue of sexuality. I would tell him that the gospel subverts the very points at which we say, “Yes, Lord, but…”

Pastoral Considerations

What follows are abbreviated points on why pastors should be aware and ready for this book to spark conversations amongst their members.

The book subverts how Lordship and sexuality are inextricably bound.

It casts a shadow on the clarity and rationality of the Bible’s teaching on sexuality.

The authority Vines insists upon casts a shadow over the heroic testimonies of those who have gone above and beyond their sexual desires.

For saying he has a high authority of Scripture, Vines has marshaled evidence from authors and volumes that do not.

Vines does not clarify that while not all individuals may be called to a life of celibacy, all individuals without a spouse are called to exercise sexual chastity.

The book drives a wedge between our design and desire. According to a biblical template, our sexual desires should be oriented to how God intends human sexuality to function. A sentiment underneath Vines’ argument is this: “If it feels good, do it.” Vines makes the claim that an expectation of celibacy has evidence of bearing “bad fruit,” and thus, cannot be accepted. The problem, however, is that this idea assumes any innate attraction or desire must be acted upon in accordance with a person’s will. A proper evaluation, however, would understand that “innateness” is not a normative ethical category worthy of adoption.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/April23/233.html#62tio3esGdOyeskP.99
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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2014, 10:31:45 pm »

All you need to know about Matthew Vines.

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

That is Matthew Vines, he knows what he is doing, and he takes pleasure from it and he will burn for it.
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« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2014, 10:38:37 pm »

All you need to know about Matthew Vines.

Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

That is Matthew Vines, he knows what he is doing, and he takes pleasure from it and he will burn for it.

That and the love of money - ultimately, money WILL blind you!
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« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2014, 05:38:31 am »

No, Pastor, Jesus Did Not Tell You to Support Homosexuality

Over the years, I’ve heard prophets say God told them all manner of goofy things. (Don’t get me started ... ) But a Vineyard pastor in Michigan may take the prize.

Ken Wilson, 62, told the Detroit Free Press that when he was young, he viewed lesbians, gays and transgenders as “criminals, perverts or homos.” When he planted his church in the 1970s, he refused to allow sexually active gays.

But somewhere along the line, Wilson, pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor in Michigan, had a change of heart. Finally, in 2011, he told the Free Press, he “got a strong nudge from Jesus” to share his new heart on gay issues.

Now he goes down in evangelical history as perhaps the first pastor of a large church to come out of the closest in support of gays. And his timing is certainly ripe for publicity, given the heated debate over gay marriage in Michigan these days.

“It’s about welcoming previously excluded groups,” Wilson told the Free Press. “That’s what it means to be evangelical—to make the good news accessible to those who haven’t had access to it. That’s my task. That’s what a church is supposed to do.”

Of course, the Vineyard movement’s leadership didn’t get a nudge from Jesus to agree with him. Wilson admits the denomination does not support him. Some people in his own church, the paper reports, have stopped sowing into the ministry as Wilson has become more vocal about embracing the LGBT community.

When you read this, you might understand why:

“I take the Bible very seriously,” Wilson told the Free Press. “It’s inspired, it’s God’s word in written form, and I do not dismiss the text and scriptures that speaks this question.

“When the Bible prohibits same-sex sex, what was the historical context for that? There’s no real indication monogamous, gay partnerships were the aim of the biblical texts, but there were some very clearly [sic] examples of exploitative same-sex sexuality, like temple prostitution or slave sex, masters requiring slaves to perform sexual services as part of their ownership of them.

“In the New Testament, there was pederasty, where older men providing mentoring to underage prepubescent males in exchange for sexual services ... The Sodom and Gomorrah story is about gang ****. It’s not about anything like loving monogamous relationships. To apply that to the issue of homosexuality is a gross misuse of scripture.”

I can’t believe I just heard that coming from a Christian pastor’s mouth. This completely ignores the many other Scriptures indicating homosexuality is a sin. Do we need to review them again? Leviticus 18:22 says a man shall not lie with a man as with a woman—that it’s an abomination. And 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 makes it clear that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God. Those are just a couple.

Listen, I believe we should embrace homosexuals who want to come to church to hear the gospel and break free from the chains of bondage—but we should not embrace the sin with the sinner.

Members of the LGBT community need to feel like church is a safe place to seek God, but they need to know we don’t condone of a homosexual lifestyle any more than we do a fornicating lifestyle, an adulterous lifestyle, a lying lifestyle, a gossiping lifestyle and the like. We can’t compromise the gospel of our salvation or we aren’t preaching the gospel of Christ.

The church needs to stand against sin in any manifestation and minister the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to set the captives free—no matter what they are captive to. Otherwise we become the blind leading the blind, religious people who have compromised with the spirit of the world, walking in deception and wooing otherwise God-fearing believers away from the truth of the gospel.

God forbid Jesus would ever nudge a pastor to do such a thing.

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/43595-no-pastor-jesus-did-not-tell-you-to-support-homosexuality
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« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2014, 09:05:56 am »

Quote
Ken Wilson, 62, told the Detroit Free Press that when he was young, he viewed lesbians, gays and transgenders as “criminals, perverts or homos.” When he planted his church in the 1970s, he refused to allow sexually active gays.

But somewhere along the line, Wilson, pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor in Michigan, had a change of heart. Finally, in 2011, he told the Free Press, he “got a strong nudge from Jesus” to share his new heart on gay issues.

Now he goes down in evangelical history as perhaps the first pastor of a large church to come out of the closest in support of gays. And his timing is certainly ripe for publicity, given the heated debate over gay marriage in Michigan these days.

1) I believe the Vineyard movement is tied to Calvary Chapel/Chuck Smith.

2) This "church planting" movement has sinister agendas behind it - ultimately, the end game is to push collectivism.

3) With that being said - I don't think this "pastor" ever had a "change of heart". All of this has been by design(where he would go from one end of the spectrum to the other).
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« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2014, 02:36:42 pm »

Southern Baptists open to reaching out to LGBT community
http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/04/southern-baptists-open-reaching-lgbt-community/

This is exactly what activist Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian, is amen-ing about. 

Via MSNBC:

Leaders at the Southern Baptist Convention are slowly appearing to embrace the idea of a new conversation on gay rights. The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, an entity of the SBC, met this week in Nashville for its first-ever conference on sexuality.  The gathering brought together more than 200 pastors and religious leaders to discuss “sexual brokenness,” in addition to divorce and pornography.

Homosexuality dominated the 3-day meeting, with some pastors pushing colleagues for a new tone on reaching out to the LGBT community. “I just think we have to reject redneck theology in all of its forms,” Pastor Jimmy Scroggins told the group Monday night. “Let’s stop telling Adam and Steve jokes.”

Those comments lit up social media, with some followers predicting a major shift on the horizon in what’s been a traditional cut-and-dry part of Baptist doctrine. SBC officials were quick to downplay any pending change, but many pastors did express a seemingly new message of openness. “The way we have treated people with whom we disagree, I just don’t think is helpful and we need to set a different kind of tone,” Scroggins told msnbc Thursday.

This internal debate is not unique to Southern Baptists. Churches all across the country are grappling with the same idea: How to welcome in worshippers, particularly gay worshippers, with whom their theology and doctrine disagrees. Phillip Bethancourt, executive vice president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, wants to build on what he calls “convictional kindness.” “This is the idea that we are holding on to clear Biblical principals in an unwavering way while presenting them in a winsome capacity seeking to persuade and engage and not vaporize,” Bethancourt told msnbc Thursday.

Preachers now say they are looking for areas of common ground with the LGBT community – like fighting AIDS and human trafficking. “Personal relationships are important,” Scroggins said. “Conversations are important. We want to do a better job trying to establish relationships and conversations.” Those type of conversations are becoming more and more personal for Southern Baptists because members are finding more open gay people in their ranks, rather it be at church, work, or family reunion. “Naturally we’re going to change our tone because you’re talking about actual people and I think that’s going to change the way we talk to people,” Scroggins said.

Despite newfound gay worshippers in pews, Baptist doctrine still draws hard lines against gay members. “Membership is reserved for those walking with Jesus, and anyone acting in a relationship contrary to that is not granted membership,” Bethancourt said. “We’re looking at how we can still love and serve and minister to people despite different viewpoints.”

And there is one major and stark different viewpoint that pins Southern Baptist and many other American religions against an evolving cultural issue – same-sex marriage. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released in March shows 58% of Americans support the rights of same-sex couples to marry, and that number grows to an overwhelming 81% among Americans younger than 30. However, despite what appears to be a more accepting public opinion, convention leaders say they are in no rush to make any official move on gay rights. “I think in 10 years, the SBC will be right where they are right now in holding on to the view that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Bethancourt said.

Major religions are historically slow in changing doctrine, and there’s no indication change  is coming now. The SBC is the country’s largest Protestant denomination with nearly 16 million members in more than 46,000 churches nationwide, according to the convention’s latest count. The most recent landmark-type change to a SBC stance came in 1995 when the convention formally apologized and renounced the church’s support of slavery and segregation.  The issue of homosexuality and gay parishioners could come up at the 2014 SBC Annual Meeting in Baltimore June 10-11.
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« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2014, 03:24:36 pm »


Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.


nuff said
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« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2014, 09:47:32 am »

Christian Publisher Calls Conservative Criticism Over Decision to Publish Matthew Vines' 'God and the Gay Christian' a 'Distraction'


A Christian publishing company has called criticism from conservative voices over its decision to publish Matthew Vines' controversial book God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships a "distraction," arguing that the author has been successful in his goal to start a cultural conversation on the issue.

"The conversation on who published God and the Gay Christian serves as a distraction to the real issue the book addresses. Now that the book has hit the marketplace, it looks as if the discourse has turned towards the conclusions set forth by its author Matthew Vines. The author's goal was to start a cultural conversation, and it seems that he has," Stephen W. Cobb, chief publishing executive for WaterBrook Press, Multnomah Books, Convergent Books and Image Books, told The Christian Post in an email Thursday.

A number of conservative commentators had spoken out strongly against Convergent Books' decision to publish Vines' God and the Gay Christian. The publisher (the sister imprint to WaterBrook Multnomah) says the book, which was released on Tuesday, will "radically change the conversation about being gay in the church."

Author Michael Brown, who holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has published his own book on the subject, Can You Be Gay and Christian, wrote in an opinion piece for CP last week:

"It is a sad and shameful day when a major Christian publisher releases such a book and claims that it is a solid evangelical publication. This is abhorrent, disgraceful, and terribly misleading. And it needs to be addressed and exposed."

Matt Barber, founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com, commented  last week that Vines is "a homosexual activist and Bible revisionist known for manipulating Christian terminology to advance the counter-Christian homosexualist agenda."

Barber also claimed that WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent are effectively the same company, stating: "It's smoke and mirrors. It's confusing because it's designed to be confusing. It's intentional – a shell game purposefully calculated to obfuscate and hide the ball from the Christian community."

In his email to CP, Cobb clarified what he called a misunderstanding of the relationship between Convergent Books and other imprints he oversees.

"I understand how it is confusing to people who do not work in publishing and do not understand the structure or nature of imprints. There are 17 imprints in the Crown Publishing Group, which is a division of Penguin Random House. I am responsible as publisher over the four imprints within the Crown Group that relate to the Christian faith: WaterBrook Press, Multnomah Books, Convergent Books and Image Books," Cobb explained.

"They are distinct and separate with different editorial missions and always have been. As such, it is my responsibility to publish books that are appropriate for the specific readership of each imprint. Those readerships do not always agree with each other, as is made clear by the release of God and the Gay Christian."

The Convergent CPE also wrote an article last week explaining the decision to publish God and the Gay Christian, answering a number of questions and concerns within the community.

"We can agree that the cultural battle over same-sex relationships and the Christian church is one of the defining issues of this generation," Cobb wrote.

"Convergent Books is publishing God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines because we believe it offers a thoughtful examination of Scripture on the topic of same-sex relationships from a bold, young, evangelical writer whose first calling is to promote a civil, loving, and biblically based conversation on the subject."

The imprint describes itself as "a place to raise questions and possibilities, and to join an open discussion of spirituality, ethics, faith, social justice, theology, and everyday experience."

Vines is a former Harvard University student and founder of The Reformation Project, which seeks to reform church teachings on sexual orientation. He argues that the Bible does not condemn loving, same-sex relationships and attempts to use Scripture to justify his argument.

A number of conservative evangelicals released reviews of God and the Gay Christian, and have warned that the book should not cause confusion regarding Scripture's teaching on homosexuality.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and his colleagues released on Tuesday an e-book, titled God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines, while Andrew Walker – director of Policy Studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, wrote in a separate review that the book "is the first step in a larger effort to fundamentally recast long-held, universally acknowledged norms pertaining to sexual ethics."

"If I was to condense the substance of Vines' book, here's what is happening: Vines has compiled liberal biblical scholarship and popularized it for a non-technical audience," Walker wrote.

"Let me be clear: Vines is not advancing new arguments. In fact, his work draws largely from existing gay-affirming scholarship. Vines is making liberal scholarship accessible for common audiences and then compounding its effect by bringing in the emotionally laden context of our times."

Offering further discussion on the topic, Convergent Books hosted a Q&A telecast with Vines on Tuesday about the book, a recording of which is available on its website.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-publisher-calls-conservative-criticism-over-decision-to-publish-matthew-vines-god-and-the-gay-christian-a-distraction-118537/
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« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2014, 10:12:46 am »

Church risks being seen as 'homophobic' if it doesn't evolve, says Archbishop

The church needs to “evolve and change as it responds to the world around it” or risk being seen as “homophobic”, the Archbishop of Wales has warned.

Dr Barry Morgan also said the Bible should not be used to reinforce viewpoints on gay marriage.

Delivering his presidential address to members of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales at a two-day conference in Llandudno, Dr Morgan said gay marriage should be accepted in the same way that divorce and re-marriage has been and added that quoting the Bible is not the way to settle debate on such emotive issues.

Dr Morgan said: “We often see what we want to see.

“We often use scripture to reinforce viewpoints that we have already arrived at in other ways and for other reasons.

“Some people have changed their minds for example on women’s ministry and same-sex relationships when they have experienced the ministry of a woman priest in the one case, or discovered their own son or daughter to be gay in the other.

“Holy scripture itself is far more nuanced, subtle and complex than we often realise.

“We cannot just quote biblical texts on different subject matters and think that settles an issue.

“It is easy to opt for prohibitions in scripture and regard them as the word of the Lord and forget that the Bible contains stories which also convey God’s word to us.”

rest: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/church-risks-being-seen-homophobic-7022081

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not


solved that issue  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2014, 11:17:20 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/lawsuit-unusual-approach-against-gay-marriage-ban-214445768--politics.html
Lawsuit: unusual approach against gay marriage ban
4/28/14

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A coalition of clergy members filed a novel federal lawsuit Monday against North Carolina's constitutional ban on gay marriage, saying it violates their religious freedom.

The clergy members said that they'd like to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in their congregations, but that they can't because of the "unjust law." Their attorney, Jake Sussman, says it's the only case to bring the First Amendment religious freedom claims among the more than 60 marriage equality cases pending in the nation's state and federal courts.

"North Carolina's marriage laws are a direct affront to freedom of religion," said the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister with the Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, which is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. "We feel that it is important that any person that comes into community life of a United Church of Christ congregation be afforded equal pastoral care and equal opportunity to religious services that clergy provide."

But in North Carolina, clergy are often faced with a troubling decision: "whether to provide those services or break the law," he said. "That's something no clergy member should be faced with."

Along with United Church of Christ, which has more than 1 million parishioners, a dozen clergy members and same sex-couples who want to marry were listed as plaintiffs. The defendants included North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and several county district attorneys as well as five registers of deeds.

Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman with the attorney general's office, said officials there hadn't seen the lawsuit yet.

Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick said she was shocked to be named as a defendant. Her office handles marriage licenses.

"It's ridiculous for any registry to be sued over same-gender marriage, which is a matter of state law, not county policy. Only the legislature or the courts can change the law. Our job as county administrators is to apply the law as it is, just as we will apply the law if it changes. Suing us misleads the public, wastes county taxpayer dollars and creates unnecessary conflict," she said.

This isn't the first legal challenge to North Carolina's law banning same-sex marriage, which was approved by voters in 2012.

The American Civil Liberties Union earlier this month launched a new legal assault on the state's ban on recognizing same-sex marriage, urging a federal judge to quickly negate it to help children and gay couples suffering from urgent health problems. The civil rights group said it was seeking to speed up a decision in a lawsuit filed in 2012 by citing the urgent health needs of a child who suffers from cerebral palsy who was adopted by one of the lesbian couples involved in the case.

The ACLU also filed a new lawsuit on behalf of three other lesbian couples struggling with health conditions made more difficult because they lack legal recognition of their marriages performed in other states, said ACLU staff attorney Elizabeth Gill.

The ACLU and the same-sex couples they represent argue a judge should act quickly to suspend North Carolina's marriage ban because they are suffering immediate and irreparable harm.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the federal government must recognize marriages of same-sex couples.

Seventeen states allow gay marriage, and federal judges have struck down bans in Michigan, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia.

"This lawsuit introduces a First Amendment claim that the marriage ban in North Carolina violates the right to the free exercise of religious beliefs by denominations, clergy and congregants who believe that same sex marriages are theologically valid and want to perform marriage ceremonies," Sussman said.

But NC Values Coalition executive director Tami Fitzgerald, who helped lead a coalition of Christian and conservative groups supporting the state's 2012 constitutional amendment, said the lawsuit is an attempt to void the will of voters who backed traditional marriage. Six in 10 voters backed changing North Carolina's constitution.

"This is sadly, and predictably, the 'lawsuit of the week' filed by those who want to impose same-sex marriage on North Carolina," Fitzgerald said. "Moreover, it's both ironic and sad that an entire religious denomination and its clergy who purport holding to Christian teachings on marriage would look to the courts to justify their errant beliefs."
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« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2014, 05:38:14 am »

United Church of Christ Sues North Carolina to Allow Gay Marriage

It's the first time for a national Christian denomination to sue in favor of same-sex marriage, citing restricted freedom of religion. Currently ministers who marry couples without a marriage license can face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 120 days in jail

When Kathleen Smith and Lisa Cloninger got engaged last October, they hoped to get married at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ. It was after all, their religious community and the church that had been their home for their 13-year relationship. But there was a problem: Holy Covenant is in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that does not allow ministers to perform legal same-sex marriages. Ministers who do marry a couple that has not yet obtained a marriage license can face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 120 days in jail.

On Monday morning, Holy Covenant’s denomination, the United Church of Christ (UCC), along with ministers of other Charlotte area congregations including a rabbi, filed a lawsuit challenging state marriage laws for restricting ministers’ free exercise of religion. The UCC is also seeking preliminary injunction that would allow ministers to choose whether to perform a religious marriage. The case appears to be the first time a national Christian denomination has challenged a state’s marriage laws.

The lawsuit has been in the works since 2012, when North Carolina voters approved Amendment One, a constitutional ban on gay marriage, with 61% of the vote. State laws prevent ministers from performing weddings if the couple does not already have a marriage license, and so religious wedding ceremonies are at odds with the law even if ministers are not sanctioning civil marriages.

Earlier this spring, the UCC, the lead plaintiff, reached out to local congregations, including Holy Covenant, to ask pastors if any church members might be candidates to join the suit. Three other couples from other churches have joined the Smith-Cloningers, and the group is suing the state’s attorney general Roy Cooper as well as other county district attorneys and registers of deeds.

The effort is part of the UCC’s long history of social justice advocacy. The mainline Protestant denomination—President Barack Obama’s own church denomination in Chicago—has more than one million members and 5,100 congregations nationwide, including 150 churches in North Carolina, and the UCC general synod passed a resolution supporting marriage equality in 2005. “For 40 years or more we have been seeking justice and equality for gay and lesbian people,” explains Geoffrey Black, president and general minister of the United Church of Christ. “This is the moment when we have an opportunity to seek justice and equality for gay and lesbian people, and so we are taking that matter very seriously.”

Smith and Cloninger are planning to have their religious ceremony at Holy Covenant in October no matter the outcome of the case. “We’ve bought dresses, we’ve sent save the date cards, we’ve booked a reception hall,” says Smith, who along with Cloninger is a North Carolina native. “Nothing could make us happier than if we were able to have both a religious and legal ceremony with everyone that we love around us and our pastor legally able to officiate that ceremony.”

Nancy Allison, the pastor of Holy Covenant and an individual plaintiff in the case, is willing to face any repercussions that may come. “I can’t imagine the law enforcement of North Carolina coming after a clergy person for doing their job, but if I were to be arrested for this, I would gladly face those arrest charges,” Allison explains. “I can do no other than move forward under my convictions.”

http://time.com/79734/united-church-of-christ-sues-north-carolina-to-allow-gay-marriage/
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« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2014, 11:03:17 am »

Yes, this "religious freedom" agenda is starting to take a strange turn now.

Again - don't be fooled by this Hobby Lobby case.
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« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2014, 01:22:46 pm »

http://donboys.cstnews.com/defending-homosexuality-is-a-tragedy-within-a-tragedy
Defending Homosexuality is a Tragedy Within a Tragedy!

Posted by Don Boys on April 25, 2014

Society has fallen in love with discourtesy, darkness, and deviancy and fails to realize that this abnormal love affair will end in death. Even some Christians defend it! It will mean death to individuals, the family, the culture, and the nation. Go visit the ruins of Sodom. I have tried to make a contribution to ameliorate the problem without much success.

The committee hearing room at the Capitol Building was packed, mostly with the media and opponents to my bill to reinstate sodomy as a crime as it had been in Indiana for about a hundred years. My opponents all had their allotted time to oppose my bill and one was a professor at Indiana University. He said that homosexuals “only wanted to be left alone.” I laughed.

In defense of my bill I told him that sodomy should be a crime again to give police officials authority to stop the cruising in city parks, sex in public restrooms, and discourage molesting of little boys. I ended by saying that homosexuals want much more than to be left alone. “They want respectability. They want to move into a house in the suburbs, park matching Volvos in the driveway and be accepted as normal people; but that won’t happen as long as Christians live in this state.” In recent years, homosexuals have demanded and received not only acceptance and approval, but even applause. We are told it is even commendable and courageous to practice perversion! And even Bible-oriented church leaders have joined the chorus!

Obviously, I was wrong! Evangelical church members are leading the parade for same sex “marriage” and doing it claiming they are true followers of Christ. However, sodomy is a tragedy and Christians’ defense of that sin is a tragedy within a tragedy.

Never has so much been surrendered by so many to so few. This surrender proves that when Christians’ faith and a controversial issue are at odds, weak Christians fold. After all, one must be modern, cool, and “with it
.”

It’s a fact, “The Times They Are A-Changing” (just listened to it all the way through for the first time!) especially in the area of courtesy, courage, and commitment. To their credit, the Homosexual Lobby has performed an absolutely incredible coup d’état in about 20 years by changing America’s attitude about sodomy. Sodomy was defined by Noah Webster in the 1800s as a “crime against nature.” The 1833 Encyclopedia Britannica identified sodomy as “The nameless crime, which was the disgrace of Greek and Roman civilization.”

Today, one is anathematized if he even uses the words “sodomy,” “degenerate,” or “pervert.” And while “same sex marriage” was not even considered possible, even worth discussing by decent people only five years ago, one is considered unloving, unkind, uneducated, and uncivil if he advocates the quaint notion that marriage is only between a man and a woman. And he is super-quaint if he holds that marriage is for a lifetime! He may also become unemployed for his belief in biblical decency. Yes, times are a-changing.

Guide is a homosexual magazine that published a pro-**** editorial in its July, 1995 issue. It referred to pedophiles as “prophets” of sexual freedom! The editorial opined: “We must listen to our prophets. Instead of fearing being labeled pedophiles, we must proudly proclaim that sex is good, including children’s sexuality. . . . Surrounded by pious moralists with deadening anti-sexual rules, we must be shameless rulebreakers (sic), demonstrating our allegiance to a higher concept of love. We must do it for the children’s sake.”  Of course, always “for the children’s sake.” Hand me a barf bag!

Love is not the justification for marriage. If that were true then three or four people can be married since they “love” each other. Or, a man could “love” his goat but few sane people would approve such an arrangement. Why could not a man marry his son thereby circumventing estate taxes? While sane people find that possibility abhorrent, it can be justified with warped, wicked, and wanton thinking. After all, the most persuasive case against incest is the danger of reproduction.

But then, who knows? Many professing Christians or church members would come to his defense! And therein lies the rub. The reason the Homosexual Lobby captured society (especially the media, education, and government) is because church members have become unprincipled, uncaring, uncourageous, and are now unnecessary. Many Christians have no problem with “the love that dare not speak its name.”

Christians have been bullied, badgered, and blackmailed into accepting the homosexual lifestyle or is that death style? However, the Bible condemns this perversion; furthermore, it also condemns those who defend perversion: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil…” (Isaiah 5:20). That’s where we are today.

So, the problem is not only with moral perversion but the cowardly capitulation of Christians who remain silent about the evil or even defend it! Above all, they must be perceived by their friends as loving, modern, cool, and hip. Such “Christians” should be kicked out their churches if they do not repent. It seems that some civic clubs have higher standards than some churches.

A good illustration of this principle was recounted in a Chattanooga area church where a mother was required to choose between her church (where she had attended for 60 years) and her lesbian daughter. The daughter had successfully advocated to make government benefits available to same sex “spouses.” Her family supported her homosexual advocacy. Church officials met with the mother and two other relatives and told them “They could repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation. Or leave the church.” Well finally, a church that practices church discipline. Of course, for doing so, they are called “unloving,” “haters,” and “bigots.” That’s easier than dealing with the issue.

The lesbian daughter whined, “Literally, they’re exiling members for unconditionally loving their children – and even extended family members.” Her dad told CNN, “Loving her daughter and supporting her family was not a sin.” Dad declared, “There was nothing to repent about.” He added. “They certainly couldn’t judge her on that because that was between her and her God, and it was not their place to judge her for that.”

I am not without sympathy for the family; however, Scripture must rule, not sentimentalism. Principled people do what is right even when it hurts. The family was not being judged for “unconditionally loving” but for defending perversion. Moreover, it was the church’s place or right, even obligation, to make a judgment. The family refused to repent and left the church.

The church was not demanding that the family turn their back on their daughter but to turn their back on her sin. There is a difference. We don’t make decisions about right and wrong depending on our relationship to a person.

For Christians to defend and declare homosexuality as acceptable rather than denounce it is a major tragedy within a tragedy.

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« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2014, 04:37:33 am »

United Methodist Church Agencies to Offer Same-Sex Partner Benefits

A mainline Protestant denomination whose governing documents declare homosexuality incompatible with Christianity will soon offer benefits to same-sex couples.

The United Methodist Church's General Council on Finance and Administration will provide benefits to agency employees with same-gender spouses. While the UMC GCFA decision derived from a vote taken last year, it was not until last week that the highest court in the denomination ruled that it was acceptable.

During its April session in Little Rock, Arkansas, the United Methodist Judicial Council ruled in Decision No. 1264 that the GCFA's benefits expansion did not contradict the guidelines of the Book of Discipline.

Of specific concern had been ¶ 806.9 of the 2012 Discipline, which states in part that "no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality…"

"The General Council on Finance and Administration has the authority to determine whether or not the use of general agency funds violates the prohibition against using church funds 'to promote the acceptance of homosexuality'," reads No. 1264.

"… the General Council on Finance and Administration determined that the use of general agency funds to subsidize the premium costs for employees and their same-gendered spouses enrolled in the General Agencies Welfare Benefits Program does not violate ¶ 806.9 of the 2012 Discipline."

Last October, the board of directors for GCFA, which serves as the UMC's financial and administrative agency, voted to expand partner benefits for employees in same-sex partnerships who work for any of the 13 agencies of the UMC.

The benefits expansion only applied to those who worked for the UMC in states where same-sex relationships are legally recognized.

"The Board's decision was taken in light of actions taken in states where same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships are now the law of the land," said Bishop Michael J. Coyner, President of GCFA in a statement last October. "Our Board has sought with this action to make policy decisions that stay in conformity with both civil and church law … We look forward to the Judicial Council's guidance on this matter."

The Reverend Thomas Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News Magazine, blogged last week that "GCFA has unilaterally contradicted church teaching with its expanded definition of marriage."

"It adopts a policy that contradicts church teaching on the definition of marriage, not only violating the beliefs and values of church members (not to mention Scripture) but creating confusion by sending a mixed message about what United Methodists believe marriage is," wrote Lambrecht.

"The wording of this policy is an unashamed capitulation to the changing mores of society, rather than standing firmly on the teachings of Scripture and 2,000 years of church teaching."

http://www.christianpost.com/news/united-methodist-church-agencies-to-offer-same-sex-partner-benefits-118958/
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« Reply #47 on: May 04, 2014, 06:49:22 am »

First openly gay Episcopal bishop divorces husband

 The first openly gay bishop in the Anglican church has announced he is divorcing his husband.

Retired Bishop Gene Robinson announced that he is divorcing Mark Andrew in an email to the Diocese of New Hampshire Saturday and an article for The Daily Beast.

The coupled entered into a civil union in 2008 that converted to a marriage when New Hampshire legalized gay marriage in 2010.

His election in 2003 as the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican church created an international uproar and led conservative Episcopalians to break away from the main church in the United States.

He writes that details of his divorce are private and that he can't repay the debt he owes Andrew "for his standing by me through the challenges of the last decade."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/04/first-openly-gay-episcopal-bishop-divorces-husband/8689265/
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« Reply #48 on: May 04, 2014, 03:15:08 pm »

Well, slowly but surely they're showing they're not happy(so much for them demanding their "rights").
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« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2014, 05:58:18 am »

NRB Forces Out WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers Over Sister Imprint's 'Gay Christian' Book
Member employees can't work on 'unbiblical material, regardless of the label.'


 A leading Christian book publisher has resigned its membership in the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) after a dispute over God and the Gay Christian, a new book published by an affiliated imprint.

In a letter to board members, NRB president and CEO Jerry Johnson said that employees of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, the evangelical division of Penguin Random House, worked on the book. The book, which argues that same-gender sex is not sinful, was published by Convergent Books, a 16-month-old Penguin Random House line that describes itself as "publishing books for progressive and mainline Christians who demand an open, inclusive, and culturally engaged exploration of faith."

"Unfortunately, while the Multnomah Publishing Group is separate from Convergent, as a legal and business entity, the staff of the Multnomah and Convergent operations are substantially the same," Johnson wrote. "Most notably, Steven W. Cobb serves as the chief publishing executive for both groups. … Other Christian workers do so as well. … This issue comes down to NRB members producing unbiblical material, regardless of the label under which they do it."

Cobb also oversees Image, Penguin Random House's Roman Catholic imprint that falls under the Crown Publishing Group division with WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent. The Christian divisions are located in the same Colorado Springs offices. Crown and Penguin Random House are based in New York City.

"I asked them to reconsider and end the practice of having Christian workers from their publishing house work on Convergent projects," Johnson wrote. "They declined to do so at this time and asked how we would respond. I told them that if they wanted to remain NRB associate members, I would have to refer the matter to our Ethics Committee for review, or they could agree to resign their membership. They agreed to resign immediately."

Johnson declined to speak with CT and said his written thoughts about Multnomah's decision, which he wrote as part of a report sent to the NRB board by chairman Bill Blount, speaks for itself.

Meanwhile, Matthew Vines's book has prompted a strong response from longtime WaterBrook Multnomah author Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, including a full-length e-book.

"I believe that Multnomah is in serious danger of crashing its brand in terms of evangelical trust," he told CT. "I am quite certain that a host of evangelical authors share this deep concern."

Cobb said in an online statement released before the NRB letter that Convergent published the book "because we believe it offers a thoughtful examination of Scripture on the topic of same-sex relationships from a bold, young, evangelical writer whose first calling is to promote a civil, loving, and biblically based conversation on the subject." No Multnomah staff were forced to work on the book, he said. "I met with our entire staff, in small groups, to discuss it—and to emphasize to everyone my long-standing policy: No colleague of ours is ever expected to work on any book we acquire that violates their personal beliefs. Indeed, I did have a few staff members who came to me for further private discussion, and asked to opt out of working on this title."

In a brief telephone conversation yesterday, Cobb told CT he has no hard feelings toward the NRB and that WaterBrook Multnomah's mission closely aligns with the NRB.

 Johnson's letter likewise notes, "You should know that the conversations were Christ-honoring and professional in tone; there was no bitterness on either side. We and they expressed a desire to revisit the issue of their membership if they separate the staff of WaterBrook Multnomah from the work of Convergent in the future."

In a brief written statement to CT, Cobb referenced Johnson's description of the tone of the conversations. "I couldn't agree more," he said. "In light of that, I believe that any further sharing of specifics would be a breach of the mutual respect between our two organizations, and I have no further comment on this topic."

While NRB's focus is its Christian radio, television, and Internet broadcasters, it lists several other Christian publishers as members, including Zondervan and Thomas Nelson (which are owned by NewsCorp's HarperCollins Publishers), and independent publishers Tyndale House and Harvest House.* The annual NRB conference attracts thousands of attendees and bills itself as the "world's largest annual gathering of Christian media professionals."

Random House created WaterBrook Press in 1996, then purchased Multnomah Publishers a decade later after Multnomah's expansion plans failed in the wake of the runaway bestseller The Prayer of Jabez. The imprint has a robust backlist, which includes David Platt's Radical, John Piper's Desiring God, and Stephen Arterburn's Every Man's Battle. But it has no titles on the current bestseller lists of either the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) or the CBA (an association of Christian stores).

In 2001, before being acquired by Random House, Multnomah dropped one of its most popular authors, novelist Philip Gulley, over his plans to publish a book promoting universalism. Gulley's latest, Living the Quaker Way, was the first volume published by the new Convergent imprint in September 2013. God and the Gay Christian is Convergent's eighth book.

While Convergent ramped up, an imprint aimed at a similar readership significantly pulled back. Like Convergent, Jericho Books is headquartered in an evangelical capital (Nashville) along with an imprint focused on evangelical readers (FaithWords, along with "positive, affirming" imprint Center Street). Like Convergent, Jericho is owned by a much larger New York publishing giant (Hachette) and is overseen by a longtime Christian publishing executive (Rolf Zettersten, formerly of Thomas Nelson and Focus on the Family). But in December, Publishers Weekly reported that Jericho's publisher, Wendy Grisham, was leaving the company and that Jericho would be significantly "scaling back" its titles. Its authors include Nadia Bolz-Weber, Jay Bakker, Philip Yancey, Shane Hipps, and Brian McLaren. Neither FaithWords nor Jericho are members of NRB.

Robert Jeffress, who pastors First Baptist Church in Dallas and is a board member for the NRB, said he wasn't part of the Multnomah decision, but he supports it. Jeffress said he published nine books through WaterBrook before switching publishers several years ago.

"I have great respect for Steve Cobb and consider him a personal friend," he said. "However, I do think it is a mistake for any Christian publisher to legitimize a point of view that is a clear perversion of Scripture."

Jeffress had not read Vines's book, but said the debate centers around its claim that biblical texts on homosexuality have been historically misinterpreted.

"I think you have to perform hermeneutical gymnastics to come to that conclusion," he said. "While there are many topics up for debate, this is not one of them for those who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture."

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/may-web-only/nrb-waterbrook-multnomah-god-and-gay-christian.html
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« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2014, 08:25:44 pm »

Church of Scotland Considers Ordaining Homosexuals

 The Church of Scotland is discussing ordaining gay people as ministers during its annual General Assembly. The conversation will extend through Friday reports Christianity Today.

In last year’s meeting, church leaders decided that the Church of Scotland would not support same-sex marriages, but it would permit gay men and woman to be ordained. The decision sparked some congregations to break off and form the anti-gay Free Church.

This week, most of the large Stornoway High congregation left the Church of Scotland in favor of the Free Church.

“Sadly our congregation could simply not identify with the general direction the Church of Scotland is headed in, and the sensible option was to leave,” said former session clerk Christopher Martin.

So far, eight former Church of Scotland ministers have converted to the Free Church.

“The Church of Scotland will say only one percent of congregations have left but its a drip, drip, drip effect. The Church is losing 20,000 people a year and there’s no sign of that trend being reversed; it will only accelerate,” said Free Church minister David Robertson.

In the coming days, the General Assembly will reassess the Church’s endorsement of homosexuality in the church. Reverend Jeremy Middleton will propose that the Church take the stance that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only right and proper context for sexual relations.” It is believed that the Church leaders will not approve of the stance.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/church-of-scotland-considers-ordaining-homosexuals.html
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« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2014, 09:37:36 pm »

"considers"? "discussing"? I dunno, but it's alot like saying it's ok to be a "little" pregnant. Undecided
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« Reply #52 on: May 27, 2014, 05:51:16 am »

Yet another 'gay Christian' book emerges
Strong responses from both sides highlight culture war


The announcement of a second “gay friendly” book, from another Christian publisher, is sending shockwaves through the evangelical community.

Jennifer Knapp’s memoir, “Facing the Music: Discovering Real Life, Real Love, and Real Faith,” will be released by Howard Books in October 2014.

Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. since 2006, is well-known for its “Hugs” series, but the line of gift books was discontinued when Simon & Schuster acquired the company. Howard Books has shifted focus to include more theologically progressive authors, including Jim Wallis and now, Knapp.

A singer and formerly a Christian Contemporary recording artist, Knapp announced in 2010 that she is a lesbian.

In April, Convergent Books, an imprint of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, released a book by Matthew Vines, “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Marriage.” WaterBrook Multnomah itself is owned by Random House.

That book launch caused a firestorm of controversy, with WaterBrook Multnomah severing ties with the National Religious Broadcasters, or NRB.

Celebrating freedom at a "gay"-pride parade

Jerry A. Johnson, president and CEO of NRB, issued a statement to the organization’s board:

“Unfortunately, while the Multnomah Publishing Group is separate from Convergent, as a legal and business entity, the staff of the Multnomah and Convergent operations are substantially the same. Most notably, Steven W. Cobb serves as the chief publishing executive for both groups. Other Christian workers do so as well. This issue comes down to NRB members producing unbiblical material, regardless of the label under which they do it.

“I asked them to reconsider and end the practice of having Christian workers from their publishing house work on Convergent projects,” Johnson further added. “They declined to do so at this time and asked how we would respond. I told them that if they wanted to remain NRB associate members, I would have to refer the matter to our Ethics Committee for review, or they could agree to resign their membership. They agreed to resign immediately.”

Cobb spoke to Christian Retailing when Vines’ book was released:

“We actually went to great lengths and have always gone to lengths here to make sure that our people here have never been required to work on anything that offended their personal beliefs. We met with everyone in small groups and, in some cases, individually, and I can think of a couple of employees off the top of my head that asked to not participate in the publishing function regarding this particular book, and we were respectful and grateful for their candor and excused them from any involvement, so we don’t run that kind of shop here.”

The announcement of Knapp’s book ensures the flap won’t die down anytime soon.

“The scary thing is, there is no longer any sacred institution where the gay agenda has not let its voice be heard,” Elaine Wright Colvin told WND. “It seems like just another inroad to me.”

Colvin, a long-time Christian book industry veteran and founder of Writers Information Network, has been involved with “CBA” (The Association for Christian Retail) since 1980. She sees the titles by Vines and Knapp as a dramatic shift for an industry that was long considered to be conservative.

“First, CBA books; and last weekend I learned that my ultra-conservative GARB [General Association of Regular Baptist], Western Baptist Bible College, is now ‘partnering’ with Nike — for money and uniforms, etc. Western Baptist is now Corban University in Salem, Oregon.”

Nike, the footwear and apparel manufacturing giant, is seen as a friend of gay activists.

In terms of the impact on Christian books, other industry vets see the inclusion of “gay friendly” books differently. Mickey Maudlin, former editor for the magazine founded by Billy Graham in 1956, Christianity Today, is now senior vice president, executive editor and director of Bible publishing at HarperCollins Publishers.

“I do not know any of the details surrounding the controversies surrounding the books by Matthew Vines or Jennifer Knapp other than what I read in news headlines,” Maudlin told WND. “Nevertheless, I think the heated and divisive debates do not serve Christ or his kingdom. Debate, fine — wise, discerning discussions are needed — but dividing over this issue makes no sense to me. It elevates the issue as if it were a core doctrine; it makes it harder to have these needed discussions; and it signals to the world that God or churches hate gay people. Paul and Jesus both emphasized that how our disputes and actions are seen by non-Christians should frame how we conduct ourselves. I don’t think that is being done.”

On May 19, Maudlin posted on his Facebook page:

“I just want to point out that the NRB is shunning fellow evangelicals for a thoroughly evangelical book, Matthew Vines’ GOD AND THE GAY CHRISTIAN, which uses Scripture to prove his thesis. This is not over Jesus, God, the cross, or the inspiration of the Bible. This is over what a fellow evangelical thinks the Bible teaches. Unbelievable.”

Top author agent Chip MacGregor, founder of MacGregor Literary, echoes Maudlin’s statements.

“Some people probably see the decision by WaterBrook to publish ‘God and the Gay Christian’ as divisive,” MacGregor told WND, “but I think their real motive is just the opposite — they’re trying to bring Christians together by starting a conversation on a topic where there frequently is no dialogue. We may not all agree on the conclusions the book comes to … but what’s the problem with that? Isn’t one of the purposes of a publisher to cause us to think; to spur a conversation, even if it’s about a difficult or delicate topic?”

The two book launches follow the announcement of World Vision’s short-lived policy statement regarding the hiring of openly gay personnel. In April, after announcing a policy change that would enable the global relief organization to hire gays, World Vision reversed itself a day later amid strong response from conservatives.

The books by Vines and Knapp have helped open a polarizing debate between progressive and conservative Christians.

Writing for The Christian Post in April, author Michael Brown had strong words for WaterBrook Multnomah:

“For many years now, publishers have been releasing books that claim that the Bible does not oppose committed homosexual relationships. That is nothing new. But it is a sad and shameful day when a major Christian publisher releases such a book and claims that it is a solid evangelical publication. This is abhorrent, disgraceful, and terribly misleading. And it needs to be addressed and exposed.”

http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/yet-another-gay-christian-book-emerges/print/
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« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2014, 06:48:09 am »

Un-’United Methodist Church’ Faces Split Over Embracing of Homosexuality

A group of 80 pastors is suggesting that the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination is facing an imminent split over its inability to resolve long-standing theological disputes about sexuality and church doctrine.

But more than lamenting the current divisions, the pastors indicated there is little reason to think reconciliation — or even peaceful coexistence — could be found. Like a couple heading to divorce court, the pastors cited “irreconcilable differences” that can’t be mended.

“We can no longer talk about schism as something that might happen in the future. Schism has already taken place in our connection,” said the Maxie Dunnam, a retired president of evangelical Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, who joined the statement.

It’s a marked shift in tone from 10 years ago, when conservatives rejected a proposal for an “amicable separation” as premature. “I don’t want us to talk about separation,” Dunnam said after the church’s 2004 assembly, before the same-sex marriage issue swept the nation. “That’s not a game where our energy needs to be focused.”

As 19 states and the District of Columbia now allow same-sex civil ‘marriage,’ the debate has consumed America’s mainline denominations, with the outcome ranging from bitter divisions to agree-to-disagree compromises.

The issue is especially heightened within Methodism, where holiness — the beliefs and practices toward Christian purity — is foundational in its theology. And as Methodist membership plateaus at home and grows in parts of Africa, overseas delegates have helped hold the line against growing pressure to give the church over to homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage.

Amid a wave of open defiance over rules that prevent pastors from presiding at same-sex marriages, and a host of high-profile church trials that have largely upheld church policy, some UMC pastors say the 11.8 million-member church has reached an impasse. Many feel that the sexuality debates simply touch on larger issues of how Methodists understand Scripture and how leaders uphold church teaching.

Frank Schaefer, a former Pennsylvania United Methodist pastor, was found guilty of violating church law when he officiated at his son’s 2007 ‘wedding,’ though his appeal will be heard on June 20. Schaefer was told he could keep his clergy credentials if he recanted his support of homosexual marriage, but he refused.

The tipping point for many striving to uphold Scriptural teaching on homosexuality came after UMC Bishop Martin D. McLee of New York announced in March he would drop a case against a retired seminary dean who officiated at his homosexual son’s 2012 ‘wedding’ and called for an end to church trials for clergy who violate the denomination’s law against affirming and supporting homosexual behavior.

The pastors saw McLee’s move as failing to uphold agreed-upon church teaching. He should have gone through proper means of changing the church’s stance on sexuality, they say, rather than declining to uphold the church’s Book of Discipline, or constitution.

“Tensions are reaching a point where it’s become a destructive scenario,” stated Larry Baird, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Island, N.Y., in an interview. He noted that leaving the denomination is not the group’s first option. “We’re hoping there’s a win-win way out for those in profound disagreement.”

Hailing from the UMC’s five jurisdictions, the group of 80 pastors and theologians released a statement Thursday (May 22) outlining the crisis they see emerging within the UMC. They pointed to pastors who violated the Book of Discipline, a lack of subsequent punishment, a crisis over the authority of Scripture and differences in how leaders are teaching the practice of holiness.

Most recently, the UMC decided to expand benefits of its agencies’ employees to include same-sex spouses who live in states that allow same-sex marriage, even though same-sex partners can’t get married within the UMC.

“Talk of a ‘middle-way’ or of ‘agreeing to disagree’ is comforting and sounds Christ-like,” the statement states. “However, such language only denies the reality we need to admit. Neither side will find ‘agreeing to disagree’ acceptable.”

Other mainline denominations have already gone through many variations on same-sex ordination and marriage, moving more quickly on the issue than the UMC, which has a global, more conservative membership; about one-third of the church’s members are found in Africa, Asia or Europe.

“Can we not learn from the pain that other mainline denominations have experienced and find a way forward that honors (Methodism founder John) Wesley’s rule that we do no harm?” the statement says. “A way where there are no winners and losers, but simply brothers and sisters who part ways amicably, able to wish each other well?”

Delegates to the Methodists’ quadrennial General Conferences have resisted one option embraced by the Presbyterian Church (USA) that essentially allows regional bodies to set their own ordination standards.

The UMC declined to provide an official response.

The United Methodist Church began in the mid-18th century within the Church of England when a small group of students, including John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, met on the Oxford University campus. They focused on Bible study, methodical study of scripture and living a holy life.

Today, members include everyone from former President George W. Bush to Hillary Clinton.

http://christiannews.net/2014/05/28/un-united-methodist-church-faces-split-over-embracing-of-homosexuality/
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« Reply #54 on: May 28, 2014, 07:15:47 am »

Jeffress: Define 'sin' using the Bible, not the culture

Win or lose, Christians must stick with scripture when dealing with the culture wars. That's the response of a prominent Southern Baptist pastor to moves within his own denomination that indicate there may be a "softening" on the topic of homosexuality.

Recently the Human Rights Campaign, a major pro-homosexual lobbying group, issued a press release with the headline "Southern Baptist Convention Leaders Show Signs of Progress on LGBT Equality." OneNewsNow talked with Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and host of Pathway to Victory, and asked if it's true.

"I believe there's some indication that that is true, unfortunately," he responds. "Look, I think we all want to be compassionate when we deal with any sin, whether it be the sin of addiction, the sin of adultery, the sin of homosexuality. We ought to assure everybody that there's no such thing as an unpardonable sin for those who receive the grace of Jesus Christ."

Christians, he says, have to be willing to call sin what it is: sin – even when holding discussions with homosexuals on that particular sin. And in those discussions, Jeffress emphasizes, believers should offer hope – but not false hope by being silent about it.

"... It's been my experience as one whose been on the forefront of these culture wars," Jeffress offers, "that it doesn't matter how much you smile, how much you show compassion, that if you label homosexuality as a sin you're going to be labeled as 'intolerant' and a 'hate monger.'"

Christians must abide by scripture, he concludes – not by the culture.

- See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/church/2014/05/28/jeffress-define-sin-using-the-bible-not-the-culture#.U4XTEiihFyI
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« Reply #55 on: May 28, 2014, 11:11:52 am »

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The United Methodist Church began in the mid-18th century within the Church of England when a small group of students, including John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, met on the Oxford University campus. They focused on Bible study, methodical study of scripture and living a holy life.

Mid-18th century? The same time when evolution/gay theory, Wescott and Hort, etc planted the seeds of their rotten fruit(which has reaped mightily rotten fruit at this present day). Yeah, alot of wickedness was really been sown during this time which has its blueprints on today's society et al.

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Today, members include everyone from former President George W. Bush to Hillary Clinton.

I think Dick Cheney is also a Methodist - yep, that says it right there. Both political "parties" are involved in this "church".
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« Reply #56 on: May 30, 2014, 04:41:58 pm »

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/05/29/4941314/more-religious-groups-to-join.html#.U4fBqSjEbqc
5/29/14
More religious groups to join suit against same-sex marriage ban

Additional plaintiffs – including two national clergy groups – are expected to join a lawsuit next week that claims North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage is a violation of religious freedom.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Alliance of Baptists are going to become part of the lawsuit, along with additional individual pastors and rabbis, said Luke Largess, co-lead counsel for the legal challenge.

The lawsuit is the nation’s first faith-based challenge to same-sex marriage bans, claiming North Carolina laws block clergy of various faiths from exercising their freedom of religion.

State law says it is a misdemeanor for ministers to perform a marriage ceremony without having a marriage license for a couple.

Largess made the announcement at a Thursday panel discussion at Charlotte’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, which focused on the federal lawsuit, General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Cooper.

The suit is a challenge to the state ban. It was filed in April in the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of the United Church of Christ. Same-sex couples in Charlotte, Asheville, Concord and Huntersville have joined the case as well.

Additional plaintiffs include clergy from other faith traditions. They say the state laws violate their equal-protection and due-process rights under the 14th Amendment.

Entire denomination joins fight

The local religious leaders, who include a rabbi, are joined by colleagues from Asheville and Raleigh along with the UCC. All support the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

The case also marks the first time an entire denomination has joined the marriage battle.

The UCC, headquartered in Cleveland, has more than 1.1 million members and 5,100 local churches. North Carolina is home to more than 24,000 members and 155 churches, including Holy Covenant in Charlotte and Trinity Reformed in Concord.

The New York City-based Central Conference of American Rabbis, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. It has 2,000 members, officials said.

The Alliance of Baptists began in 1987, according to its website, and is composed of male and female laity and clergy, people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, theological beliefs and ministry practices.

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« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2014, 05:02:26 pm »

From my experiences - this isn't the first time I've seen or heard this. For example, 5 years ago over at a big, mainstream fellowship group I used to attend, one woman said how her daughter became a lesbian after she went through the (feminist)women's studies program at her univ. She acted as if it wasn't her fault, and thought all she had to do was pray, pray, and pray for her.

Pt being that why can't these parents take responsibility for themselves? Whatever happened to training up a child with the KJB, not being part of some "church" system, homeschooling them, etc? Whatever happened to the proper husband's and wife's roles in the house?(ie-I'm not saying this for 100% certain - but it wouldn't surprise me that children grow up to be sodomites when they see the mother taking headship over the home - a boy can develop effeminite qualities by seeing a very bossy mother over father, and a girl can develop masculine qualities by seeing just that too)

Ultimately - these parents need to take responsibility for themselves, and quit pointing fingers at everything else.

2Corinthians 12:14  Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/02/baptist-church-pastor-gay-son_n_5432880.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
6/2/14
California Baptist Church Changes Views On Homosexuality After Pastor's Gay Son Comes Out

A Baptist church in California has voted to welcome the gay community despite going against the Southern Baptist Convention's views on homosexuality.

The New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, CA faced a difficult decision in early 2014 when lead pastor Danny Cortez told the congregation that his son, Drew, had come out -- and that he himself no longer agreed with the church's teachings on homosexuality.

A month later the church said in a statement that it would investigate the issues surrounding same-sex marriage and vote on May 18 whether to dismiss Cortez or not.
Quote
    New Heart’s congregation elected to establish an in-depth theological study of same-sex marriage, so that congregants for themselves might more deeply discern both their own theological views concerning same-sex marriage and their willingness, whatever their views, to invite same-sex couples into fellowship, communion, and leadership in the church.

On the date scheduled, the congregation took a vote and elected to keep Cortez in his post and change its official stance on homosexuality.


In a letter to Patheos blogger and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians John Shore, Cortez said the church had voted not only to let him stay but to become a 'Third Way' church, which he said indicates agreeing to disagree and not casting judgement on others' lifestyles.

"This is a huge step for a Southern Baptist Church!!" he added.

In his coming out video, posted to YouTube on February 7, 15-year-old Drew Cortez offered a message to other gay teens struggling with their identities. "I kind of wish I could just hug them and tell them, 'You're perfect the way you are. You don't have to change because you are fearfully and wonderfully made'... God still loves them for who they are."

Read Pastor Cortez' full letter below and watch his son's touching coming out video above.

   
Quote
Hi John,

    I wanted to introduce myself to you. My name is Danny Cortez and I pastor a small Southern Baptist Church in La Mirada, CA. We’re about a mile from Biola University in a very conservative neighborhood.

    Anyway, I recently became gay affirming after a 15-year journey of having multiple people in my congregation come out to me every year. I scoured through your whole website and read everything I could. And it was especially the testimony of my gay friends that helped me to see how they have been marginalized that my eyes became open to the injustice that the church has wrought.

    In August of 2013, on a sunny day at the beach, I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality.

    As I was trying to figure out what to tell my church, I was driving in the car with my 15-year-old son Drew when a song on the radio came on. I asked Drew who sang it, and he said, “Mackelmore.” And then he asked me why I was interested in it. I told him that I liked the song. He was startled and he asked me if I knew that the song’s message was gay affirming. I told him that I did know and that’s why I liked the song. I also told him that I no longer believed what I used to believe.

    As we got out of the car, I could tell he was puzzled. so I asked him what he was thinking. In the parking lot, he told me in a nervous voice, “Dad, I’m gay.” My heart skipped a beat and I turned towards him and we gave one another the biggest and longest hug as we cried. And all I could tell him was that I loved him so much and that I accepted him just as he is.

    I couldn’t help but think that my 15 year journey was in preparation for that moment. If it wasn’t for this 15 year journey and my change in theology, I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.

    My son decided to make a coming out video on YouTube on Feb 7, 2014 which he posted on Facebook.

    I then told my church on Feb 9 about my new position. However, I expressed that my goal wasn’t about trying to convince everyone what I believe, but that we should allow room for grace in the midst of disagreement. I shared that the body of Christ is segregated every sunday between gay affirming and non-gay affirming and that there must be unity and love.

    Unfortunately, many weren’t pleased, so the church had to vote whether to terminate me or accept my proposition. On March 9, the church voted instead to prolong the period of prayer, study and discernment until May 18. We then invited teachers, both gay and straight, from both sides of the debate to speak to our church.

    The church just voted two Sundays ago, on May 18, 2014, to not dismiss me, and to instead become a Third Way church (agree to disagree and not cast judgement on one another—see Ken Wilson’s book, “A Letter to my Congregation”). This is a huge step for a Southern Baptist Church!!

    So now, we will accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship. We will choose to remain the body of Christ and not cast judgement. We will work towards graceful dialogue in the midst of theological differences. We see that this is possible in the same way that our church holds different positions on the issue of divorce and remarriage. In this issue we are able to not cast judgement in our disagreement.

    Unfortunately, many who voted to remain traditional will now separate from us in a couple of weeks. We are in the period of reconciliation and forgiveness. Please pray for us in this. Then on June 8, we will formally peacefully separate, restate our love for one another, and bless each other as we part ways. It has been a very tiring and difficult process.

    All of this to say, I believe God is moving in beautiful ways. And I’m thankful that you were part of my journey through the many things I processed through your writings. I pray that you would be encouraged that a conservative evangelical church like ours has embraced the LGBT community.

    I am now in conversation with other pastors who are now wondering what in the world we are doing. I’m thankful for these opportunities. I pray that the church will no longer be segregated. I pray that those who have been marginalized would feel safe in our churches. I pray that we as the church would set aside our difference and learn what it means to be the body of Christ. So please keep us in your prayers as the road ahead promises to be filled with difficulty. Thank you again for helping me through my journey.

    Blessings
    Danny Cortez
    Pastor
    New Heart Community Church

Looks like he's been pushing the sodomite agenda BEFORE his son "came out".
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« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2014, 12:22:59 pm »

http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/b317be05-75cb-5bac-b2bf-79a85b4c82fc.html
Faith leaders call for gay marriage
6/5/14

Thirty-one faith leaders in Wyoming signed their names to a statement calling for the state to allow gay marriage.

“Every faith leader will always be free to determine which marriages to bless or officiate and which to not,” read the statement, an effort of Wyoming Unites for Marriage, a Cheyenne-based effort to legalize gay marriage in the Equality State. “Marriage for same-sex couples will not change that fundamental principle. However, for those of us who do lead welcoming and affirming faiths, it will finally remove a long-standing obstacle to our pastoral care - and allow us to minister equally to all families in our community.”

Jeran Artery, chairman of the pro-gay rights group Wyoming Equality, which is behind Wyoming Unites, said the organization worked on the effort over the last couple of weeks. Artery first reached out to religious leaders who he knew were supportive of gay rights; then he was led to others. The organization recently compiled a list of attorneys supportive of gay marriage, too.

In March, four same-sex couples and Wyoming Equality sued Gov. Matt Mead and other state officials in Laramie County District Court in Cheyenne to challenge the state’s ban on gay marriage.

“For the last couple of years, the message within the GLBT community and the faith community was pick one or the other because you can’t have both,” he said. “We need to break down that barrier.”

Sometimes, people struggle reconciling their faith with their sexual identities.

“They’re told they’re going to hell,” Artery said. “They don’t feel safe or loved.”

They leave their churches, which can be difficult spiritually. Worse, some gay people commit suicide because of religious conflict, he said.

Most of the faith leaders came from Christian denominations. There were no representatives of Catholic Church or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Artery is hopeful that, as those churches discuss gay members, support will increase for gay marriage.

“Some of the smaller churches in smaller communities say, ‘Hey, we support the freedom,’ was surprising,” Artery said.

The Rev. Anetta Davenport of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Thermopolis is a supporter of gay marriage.

“I believe Christ calls us to love one another,” she said. “I’d rather err on the side of love. It’s not up to me to judge, anyway.”

Davenport is newly ordained. She hasn’t been asked to perform any commitment ceremonies at her church. She was raised in Thermopolis, moved away as an adult and has returned after retirement to serve the congregation.

“It’s not something we talk about openly,” she said. “It’s a touchy subject for some people.”

The Rev. Dee Lundberg of the Casper United Church of Christ said acceptance of gay marriage comes down to how one reads the Bible. She doesn’t take the Bible literally. She believes the Bible is a source of ethics and stories.

“There’s a little, tiny bit in the Old Testament that talks about gay marriage,” she said, referring to the part of the Book of Leviticus that says a man should not lie with another man.

In Genesis, Sodom and Gomorrah that gay rights opponents cite "is a story about hospitality and inhospitality," she said.

But Leviticus was written for a small, struggling band of Israelites who were living among other cultures, she said. The book helped them establish a cultural identity. A paragraph before the section about a man not lying with another man, it says children should be murdered for cursing their parents, she said.

Leviticus also prohibits people from eating hoofed animals and shellfish and from planting two types of seed on the same ground, such as corn and peas; people regularly violate Leviticus, she said.

In the Book of Romans, it says men weren’t supposed to lust after other men, Lundberg said.

The book was written in the time of Paul to a community that witnessed Greek and Roman philosophers have sex with students. The story sets up rules for how the Christian community is different than other cultures, she said.

Lundberg challenges people to look for the Gospels’ statements on homosexuality.

“Jesus is silent on the subject.”

Jesus loved the oppressed – prostitutes, widows, tax collectors and commoners, she said.

“We don’t want to promote promiscuity,” she said. “We want to promote covenant and commitment.”
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« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2014, 01:59:07 pm »

Transgendered priest to give sermon at Washington National Cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral is welcoming the first openly transgendered Episcopal priest to its altar this month.

The Rev. Cameron Partridge, a transgendered man, is set to give the June 22 sermon at the cathedral, a fixture in the D.C. skyline and one of the nation’s most well-known houses of worship.

Dean of the cathedral, the Rev. Gary Hall, said in a statement that he hopes Mr. Partridge’s presence would send a message of support for the transgender community.

“We at Washington National Cathedral are striving to send a message of love and affirmation, especially to LGBT youth who suffer daily because of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” Mr. Hall said. “We want to proclaim to them as proudly and unequivocally as we can: Your gender identity is good and your sexual orientation is good because that’s the way that God made you.”

Mr. Partridge is the Episcopal chaplain at Boston University and a lecturer and counselor for Episcopal and Anglican students at the Harvard Divinity School. He completed his transition to male in 2001, according to Boston University, and has a wife and two children.

Rev. Hall also announced that the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal priest, would be presiding the same service with Mr. Partridge. He retired from his post as a bishop in New Hampshire and now works at the Center for American Progress.

The service caps two weeks of LGBT advocacy for the cathedral. It participated in this year’s Capital Pride events, and Mr. Hall said the service would include readings by local LGBT community members.

Last year the National Cathedral made headlines when its leaders announced that the church would perform same-sex marriages.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/9/transgendered-priest-give-sermon-washington-nation/#ixzz34Abdz9Uf
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