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The Falling Away, sodomite version

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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
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;
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« Reply #60 on: June 12, 2014, 06:11:30 am »

Methodists Fear Split as Denomination Reaches Homosexuality Impasse

 Leaders of the United Methodist Church will gather in Florida on Wednesday to discuss church business; the church’s stance on homosexuality will likely be a hot button issue.
 
The issue has been an area of discussion in the congregation for 10 years, but recent events have lead some members to fear a schism as the denomination reaches an impasse between the church doctrine and scripture.
 
“It’s distressing to me that we’re still focusing on minor issues, same-sex, homosexuality,” said Rev. John Hill of the Suntree United Methodist Church. “Others many feel different, but the real issues the Jesus called us to confront are feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and not necessarily this issue. It’s maybe important but not essential.”
 
Hill is one of hundreds of pastors who signed a petition urging the church to remain unified and respect others’ opinions on homosexuality reports USA Today.
 
Not all Methodists pastors agree, however, In May, 80 pastors held a meetings which led to a call for a split.
 
“We need to recognize the reality that we -- laity, clergy and even the Council of Bishops -- are divided and will remain divided. Talk of a ‘middle way’ or of ‘agreeing to disagree’ is comforting and sounds Christ-like. However, such language only denies the reality we need to admit. Neither side will find ‘agreeing to disagree’ acceptable,” the pastors wrote in a letter to the denomination.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/methodists-fear-split-as-denomination-reaches-homosexuality-impasse.html
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« Reply #61 on: June 19, 2014, 07:39:43 pm »

http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/us/presbyterian-pastors-can-preside-at-gay-marriages/ngPFT/
Presbyterian assembly: Gay marriage is Christian
6/19/14

DETROIT —

The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted by large margins Thursday to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of "two people," not just "a man and a woman."

The amendment approved by the Presbyterian General Assembly requires approval from a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries, which will vote on the change over the next year. But in a separate policy change that takes effect at the end of this week's meeting, delegates voted to allow ministers to preside at gay weddings in states where the unions are legal and local congregational leaders approve. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

The votes, during a national meeting in Detroit, were a sweeping victory for Presbyterian gay-rights advocates. The denomination in 2011 eliminated barriers to ordaining clergy with same-sex partners, but ministers were still barred from celebrating gay marriages and risked church penalties for doing so. Alex McNeill, executive director of More Light Presbyterians, a gay advocacy group, said the decisions Thursday were "an answer to many prayers."

The Rev. Krystin Granberg of the New York Presbytery, where the state recognizes gay marriage, said she receives requests "all the time" from friends and parishioners to preside at their weddings.

"They want to be married in the church they love and they want me to do it," Granberg said during the debate. "I want pastoral relief."

But Bill Norton, of the Presbytery de Cristo, which covers parts of Arizona and New Mexico, urged the assembly to delay any changes. "We are laying hands on something that is holy, that God has given us, so we need to be sure any changes we make are in accord with God's will revealed in Scripture," Norton said.

Since the 2011 gay ordination vote, 428 of the denomination's more than 10,000 churches have left for other more conservative denominations or have dissolved, though some theological conservatives have remained within the denomination as they decide how to move forward. The church now has about 1.8 million members.

The conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee decried the votes in Detroit as an "abomination." The assembly voted 371-238 to allow ministers to celebrate same-sex marriages, and 429-175 in favor of amending the definition of marriage in the constitution.

"The General Assembly has committed an express repudiation of the Bible, the mutually agreed upon Confessions of the PCUSA, thousands of years of faithfulness to God's clear commands and the denominational ordination vows of each concurring commissioner," the Presbyterian Lay Committee said in a statement.

Of the mainline Protestant denominations, only the United Church of Christ supports gay marriage outright. The Episcopal Church has approved a prayer service for blessing same-sex unions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has eliminated barriers for gay clergy but allows regional and local church officials to decide their own policies on ordination and blessings for same-sex couples.

The largest mainline group, the United Methodist Church, with about 7.8 million U.S. members, bars ordaining people in same-sex relationships. However, church members have been debating whether to split over their different views of the Bible and marriage. Gay marriage supporters have been recruiting clergy to openly officiate at same-sex ceremonies in protest of church policy.
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« Reply #62 on: June 20, 2014, 03:48:56 pm »

Look at the rotten fruits of Republicanism from these Babel church buildings...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/20/us/politics/gay-gop-candidates-feature-partners-in-ads.html?_r=1
6/19/14
Gay G.O.P. Candidates Feature Partners in Ads

WASHINGTON — Richard Tisei’s new campaign ad offers a scene of domestic bliss.

The ad, set to appear in a glossy color brochure on Saturday, features a smiling Mr. Tisei with his arm around his beaming spouse at their wedding reception this year.

And while such familial images have become a staple of modern campaigns, the decision by Mr. Tisei — an openly gay Republican running for Congress — to feature his husband, Bernie Starr, in the ad is a sign of how quickly views are changing on same-sex marriage and the broader tableau of gay rights.

“I think people need to know who I am and what I’m all about,” Mr. Tisei said. “I’m obviously proud to be married to Bernie, and I’m proud to be a Republican.”

For gay candidates, talking openly about a partner or loved one — let alone showcasing them in an ad — has traditionally proved tricky. And the Republican Party has been struggling to adjust to the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage.

But this cycle, three gay Republicans running for Congress — Mr. Tisei in Massachusetts, Carl DeMaio in California and Dan Innis in New Hampshire — are featuring their significant others in campaign ads, a first for a gay congressional candidate from either major political party.

The text of the Tisei ad, which will run in the brochure of a gay pride celebration in his district this weekend, reads: “We all fought to make US possible in Massachusetts... Now, I’ll fight for US in Washington.”

Mr. DeMaio gained attention this year when he released an online video that featured a brief shot of him holding hands with his partner, Johnathan Hale, at a 2012 gay pride parade. In Mr. Innis’s web video to announce his candidacy in October, he says, “I live in Portsmouth with my husband,” before a picture flashes on the screen of the two of them, along with their “three great kids.” (Mr. Innis is the only one of the three to face a primary challenge; all three are trying to unseat Democratic incumbents.)

“Republican candidates are saying it loud,” said Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist. “They’re out and they’re proud enough to feature their partners in ads, which I think just reflects how fast this issue is moving across the American political spectrum.”

In just over a decade since Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage in 2004, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. Public opinion on the issue is shifting rapidly, too. In a New York Times/CBS News nationwide poll in February, 56 percent of Americans said they thought same-sex marriage should be legal.

While a majority of Democrats and independent voters support same-sex marriage, a majority of Republicans do not — but among young Republicans, 56 percent join Democrats and independents in supporting the issue.

There are currently six gay members of Congress — five in the House and one in the Senate — and one bisexual, Representative Krysten Sinema of Arizona; all are Democrats. The last openly gay Republican to serve in Congress was Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona, who retired in 2006; no Republican has been openly gay when first elected to Congress. (Mr. Kolbe revealed his sexuality after joining the House in 1985.)

On Thursday, the National Organization for Marriage, which supports traditional marriage between a man and a woman, held its second annual “March for Marriage” at the Capitol in Washington. “It is a losing issue at the ballot box,” said Brian S. Brown, the group’s president, “and you’re going to see that if any Republican presidential candidate were to endorse same-sex marriage, I can guarantee you they’re not going to win the Republican primary.”

Mr. DeMaio, Mr. Innis and Mr. Tisei have not broadcast any television commercials with their partners or husbands yet, although Mr. DeMaio plans to show a shorter version of his online ad on television, and the other two campaigns said they would not rule out a television buy.

“The airwaves are loaded with candidate wives and kids,” said Elizabeth Wilner, the senior vice president for politics of Kantar Media Ad Intelligence, which monitors political advertising. “These tentative off-air steps, while landmark, show just how loaded the most ‘101’ ad of a campaign, the bio ad, can be for a gay candidate.”

Nonetheless, the candidates say they need to be part of the future of the Republican Party if it wants to survive, as public opinion and Supreme Court decisions seem to be becoming more open to gay rights. “My brand of Republicanism is that the government should get off your back, out of your wallet and away from the bedroom,” Mr. Tisei said. “For the Republican Party, that philosophy is really key for us to expand our base and become more inclusive about bringing people in.”

Mr. DeMaio said the party needed “to enter the 21st century,” adding, “The party needs to reach out to all communities with a principled message — gays, straight, women, men, Latinos all want the same thing.”

Mr. DeMaio’s decision to include his partner in a campaign video, said Brian Donahue, a founding partner at Craft, which produced the piece, was a simple one. “Carl and his team felt it was important to feature his partner just as any candidate would feature their significant other,” Mr. Donahue said.

For groups that favor same-sex marriage, these ads represent yet another positive sign in the fight for marriage equality.

“There’s this overwhelming momentum, and I think it’s really great, whether Democrat or Republican, to see gay candidates comfortable with being themselves,” said Marc Solomon, the national campaign director of Freedom to Marry. But, Mr. Solomon added, “I would say the political system in general is certainly behind where the public is on marriage and general acceptance of gay people.”

There are signs, at least, that House Republicans are listening. When Representative J. Randy Forbes of Virginia last year urged the National Republican Congressional Committee to withhold financial support from gay candidates, Speaker John A. Boehner and Representative Greg Walden of Oregon, the committee’s chairman, spoke up in support of gay Republicans.

The committee recently announced its television ad buy for the fall, and it includes $1.7 million in the San Diego market, where Mr. DeMaio is running, and $2.2 million in Boston and Manchester, N.H., which covers the districts Mr. Innis and Mr. Tisei are seeking to represent.
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« Reply #63 on: June 25, 2014, 05:34:32 am »

Apostate Pastor Who Officiated Son’s Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Reinstated

In a reversal, an apostate Pennsylvania pastor who was defrocked last year for violating United Methodist law after he officiated at his son’s so-called same-sex wedding has been reinstated.

Frank Schaefer learned Tuesday (June 24) his ministerial credentials will be restored after the United Methodist’s Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals voted 8-1 in his favor.

The committee, which held a hearing June 20 near Baltimore, found that “errors of Church law” had been used in imposing the penalty against Schaefer.

“I was wrongfully punished for standing with those who are discriminated against,” Schaefer said in a statement. “Today’s decision is a sign that the church is starting to listen.”

Schaefer said he and his family will move to California as early as next week to accept an invitation to serve in the United Methodist’s California-Pacific Conference.

That conference recently passed a resolution calling for an end to trials in cases of clergy violating policy connected with so-called “gay rights”.

“I will not refuse ministry to anyone,” he said. “I will never be silent again. I will always speak for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”

The decision to reinstate Schaefer comes as the world’s 12 million United Methodists appear headed toward a split over the denomination’s rules on prohibiting homosexual behavior.

“The events over the last nine months make the division in our church much more clear,” said Tom Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News, a conservative group within the United Methodist Church. “I have not seen a realistic option that will allow us to live together in one church.”

More than 80 pastors recently signed a statement saying the United Methodists have irreconcilable differences on the issue of homosexuality and a split is imminent. More than 2,500 United Methodist leaders have signed “A Way Forward,” a proposal calling for local decisions on openly homosexual clergy and so-called same-sex marriage.

Several other United Methodist clergy, including a retired bishop, are awaiting news of formal church complaints or trials for defying Methodist policy and biblical . A group of 10 retired clergy said earlier this month they would preside at same-sex marriages.

Schaefer, formerly pastor of Zion United Methodist Church in Iona, was found guilty of violating the church’s Book of Discipline in a November 2013 trial. A church jury suspended him for 30 days, during which he was told to decide whether he could comply with church law. If he could not, the jury said he was to surrender his clergy credentials.

The United Methodist Church accepts open homosexuals as members, but its Book of Discipline calls the practice of homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching” and bars clergy from performing the so-called same-sex unions.

But the appeals committee ruled that the penalty was beyond those outlined in church law. It also said the penalty “could not be predicated on a future possibility.”

The committee also ruled that the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference must compensate Schaefer for all lost salary and benefits from the date he lost his credentials, Dec. 19, 2013.

The committee’s decision could be appealed to the Judicial Council, the church’s highest court.

RNS / Christian News Network contributed to this report.

http://christiannews.net/2014/06/25/apostate-pastor-who-officiated-sons-same-sex-marriage-reinstated/
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« Reply #64 on: July 09, 2014, 10:57:43 am »

http://theweek.com/article/index/264339/christian-bookstores-are-the-next-gay-marriage-battleground
 Christian bookstores are the next gay-marriage battleground
If you think all Christian publishers reflexively oppose same-sex marriage, you are very, very wrong

7/9/14

The battle over gay marriage is being fought in nearly every corner of American society — from public schools to the highest courts, and from television sitcoms to neighborhood barbecues.

Religious Americans — particularly evangelical Christians — have often been at the center of these debates, attempting to hold the line on traditional understandings of marriage. But as support for same-sex marriage grows (a clear majority of Americans now favor same-sex marriage), many Christians are starting to shift. Indeed, the majority of white mainline Protestants, white Catholics, and Latino Catholics now back same-sex marriage rights. Strong majorities of white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants continue to oppose gay marriage, but there are both geographical and generational cracks in the foundation.

Many of the largest Christian publishers are coming out with books supporting same-sex relationships. More are on the way. These books have spurred praise from pro-gay Christians and strong resistance from the movement's right flank. All of this indicates that Christian publishing may be the next battleground in America's explosive debates about gay marriage.

Rewind to April when Convergent Books, a division of Crown Publishing Group, released God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines. The book is an attempt by Vines, whose 2012 YouTube video claimed that "being gay is not a sin" went viral, to argue that the Bible does not condemn committed, monogamous same-sex relationships. The book's release sent many conservative Christians into panic mode.

Christopher Yuan, an author and Christian professor who claims God saved him from the "gay lifestyle", wrote a withering review of Vines' book in Christianity Today. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, warned that the book sought "to overthrow two millennia of Christian moral wisdom" and released a full-length e-book to rebut Vines' arguments.

But the final hammer fell in mid-May when the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) forced Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, an evangelical publisher and the sister imprint of the one that published Vines' book, to resign its membership in the organization.

"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," wrote NRB CEO and president Jerry Johnson. "This issue comes down to NRB members producing unbiblical material, regardless of the label under which they do it."

NRB essentially not only forbade members from publishing such books, but said they can't be professionally associated with publishing imprints who do. Call it six degrees of Matthew Vines.

The question now facing NRB and similar organizations is not what they'll do with Convergent, but how they'll respond to other books from Christian publishers arguing similar positions. An increasing number of titles advocate for a rethinking, reframing, or outright reversal of the traditional Christian understanding of sexuality. To wit:

    Wendy VanderWal-Gritter argues in Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church that congregations should be open to more progressive views on sexuality. The book was released by Brazos Press, an imprint associated with the evangelical Baker Publishing Group.

    James Brownson makes seminary-level arguments in Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church's Debate on Same-Sex Relationships to claim that the Bible allows for committed same-sex relationships. The book is becoming a staple among Christians with progressive views on sexuality and was released by the Christian academic press, Eerdmans.

    Justin Lee in Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate and Jay Bakker in Fall to Grace take progressive stances on the issue. Both titles were published by Jericho Books, a sister imprint to an evangelical press that publishes books by conservatives like James Dobson.

    Pastor Mark Achtemeier shares why he has shifted in The Bible's 'Yes' to Same Sex Marriage: An Evangelical's Change of Heart. The Presbyterian Westminster John Knox Press released the book. Pastor Ken Wilson released a similar work, A Letter to My Congregation, with a smaller independent press.

My sources within Christian publishing tell me that many similar titles by gay Christians, professors, and pastors who have changed their positions are being acquired and developed now.

One such book is Facing the Music: Discovering Real Life, Real Love, and Real Faith by Jennifer Knapp, which is set for release in October.. Knapp is a Grammy-nominated Christian musician who has come out as a lesbian. Howard Books is a Christian imprint of Simon and Schuster that also publishes the Duck Dynasty brand and many conservative evangelical authors.

Howard is not a member of NRB, but the publisher is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). Mark Kuyper, president and CEO of the ECPA, says no members have attempted to challenge Howard or Waterbrook Multnomah's membership. Publishing books affirming same-sex relationships would not be grounds for removal, according to Kuyper, because it would not violate the ECPA's statement of faith.

Kuyper agreed with my hunch that we're at the beginning of this trend. He told me that he expects to see more titles from Christian publishers released on both sides of the issue in the coming months and years.

"Part of what is so wonderful about publishing is that it is the marketplace of ideas," Kuyper says. "Christianity has gotten to the point where it is brave enough to publish two sides of a hot-button issue from a biblical perspective, and that's really impressive. I can't recall a time when I've ever seen this happen before, and I think it is a positive development."

**They've been doing that since 1980 - when the whole "religious right" formed - only different being that the sodomy agenda is "winning" the battle now.

We can assume that many of Kuyper's conservative Christian colleagues don't share his optimism about this trend in Christian publishing. Of course, what matters is not what the religious talking heads think, but whether the masses of pew-sitting, church-going, vote-casting Christians will be persuaded.

And mark this down: If the battle over same-sex relationships being fought among conservative Christians is won by the pro-gay advocates among them, the larger cultural war is all but over.

**And that's been the end game of this "culture war" - Thesis and Antithesis("religious conversatives" vs "the sodomites") - ultimately to bring in a "compromise" and acceptance of the sodomy issue to the Apostate Church.
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« Reply #65 on: July 09, 2014, 07:38:49 pm »

http://www.christianpost.com/news/kentucky-baptist-church-to-hold-gay-wedding-122645/
Kentucky Baptist Church to Hold Gay Wedding
7/2/14

A Baptist congregation in Kentucky has garnered national headlines for its intention to hold a gay wedding at its facility, despite most of their fellow Baptist churches' disapproval.

Highland Baptist Church of Louisville recently announced their intention to hold a same-sex wedding for David Bannister Jr., 29, and Steven Carr, 25. It is scheduled for next May.

Joseph Phelps, pastor at Highland Baptist, told The Christian Post that the gay couple "have been active and faithful members of the congregation for over five years."

"Our deacons concluded that conscience would not allow us to welcome gay and lesbian members as full members of our congregation … without also granting them both the responsibilities and rights of all our other members," said Phelps.

Highland Baptist is officially affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship.

The Rev. Laura Barclay, spokeswoman with the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship, told CP that her organization does not have an official position on gay marriage.

"Because we represent autonomous congregations, we only take official positions on the matters in which we all agree," said Barclay.

"Therefore, KBF does not have an official position on marriage definition. Our organization promotes churches coming together for mission and ministry … We welcome any churches who want to partner to further the Kingdom of God."

Barclay added that "Highland Baptist Church is exercising their right as a free, autonomous church to act on their beliefs."

"They are expressing freedom of religion, a crucial tenet of the Baptist faith. We also know they have spent a great deal of time in prayer and reflection and have been very intentional about their process," said Barclay.

Likewise Jeff Huett, associate coordinator of Communications and Advancement for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, told CP that no official position either way existed.

"The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship does not issue official positions on homosexuality because it violates the Fellowship's mission as a network of individuals and churches," said Huett.

"CBF values and respects the autonomy of each individual and local church to evaluate and make their own decision regarding social issues like homosexuality."

News of the wedding at Highland Baptist came around the same time as a ruling by a U.S. District Court declaring Kentucky's state marriage amendment unconstitutional.

On Tuesday Judge John Heyburn in Louisville concluded that the ban violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The decision was the most recent of over 20 across the country declaring various state-level bans unconstitutional.
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« Reply #66 on: July 12, 2014, 11:18:29 am »

Christian bookstores are the next gay-marriage battleground

If you think all Christian publishers reflexively oppose same-sex marriage, you are very, very wrong

The battle over gay marriage is being fought in nearly every corner of American society — from public schools to the highest courts, and from television sitcoms to neighborhood barbecues.

Religious Americans — particularly evangelical Christians — have often been at the center of these debates, attempting to hold the line on traditional understandings of marriage. But as support for same-sex marriage grows (a clear majority of Americans now favor same-sex marriage), many Christians are starting to shift. Indeed, the majority of white mainline Protestants, white Catholics, and Latino Catholics now back same-sex marriage rights. Strong majorities of white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants continue to oppose gay marriage, but there are both geographical and generational cracks in the foundation.

Many of the largest Christian publishers are coming out with books supporting same-sex relationships. More are on the way. These books have spurred praise from pro-gay Christians and strong resistance from the movement's right flank. All of this indicates that Christian publishing may be the next battleground in America's explosive debates about gay marriage.

Rewind to April when Convergent Books, a division of Crown Publishing Group, released God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines. The book is an attempt by Vines, whose 2012 YouTube video claimed that "being gay is not a sin" went viral, to argue that the Bible does not condemn committed, monogamous same-sex relationships. The book's release sent many conservative Christians into panic mode.

Christopher Yuan, an author and Christian professor who claims God saved him from the "gay lifestyle," wrote a withering review of Vines' book in Christianity Today. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, warned that the book sought "to overthrow two millennia of Christian moral wisdom" and released a full-length e-book to rebut Vines' arguments.

But the final hammer fell in mid-May when the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) forced Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, an evangelical publisher and the sister imprint of the one that published Vines' book, to resign its membership in the organization.

"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," wrote NRB CEO and president Jerry Johnson. "This issue comes down to NRB members producing unbiblical material, regardless of the label under which they do it."

NRB essentially not only forbade members from publishing such books, but said they can't be professionally associated with publishing imprints that do. Call it six degrees of Matthew Vines.

The question now facing NRB and similar organizations is not what they'll do with Convergent, but how they'll respond to other books from Christian publishers arguing similar positions. An increasing number of titles advocate for a rethinking, reframing, or outright reversal of the traditional Christian understanding of sexuality. To wit:

    Wendy VanderWal-Gritter argues in Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church that congregations should be open to more progressive views on sexuality. The book was released by Brazos Press, an imprint associated with the evangelical Baker Publishing Group.

    James Brownson makes seminary-level arguments in Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church's Debate on Same-Sex Relationships to claim that the Bible allows for committed same-sex relationships. The book is becoming a staple among Christians with progressive views on sexuality and was released by the Christian academic press, Eerdmans.

    Justin Lee in Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate and Jay Bakker in Fall to Grace take progressive stances on the issue. Both titles were published by Jericho Books, a sister imprint to an evangelical press that publishes books by conservatives like James Dobson.

    Pastor Mark Achtemeier shares why he has shifted in The Bible's 'Yes' to Same Sex Marriage: An Evangelical's Change of Heart. The Presbyterian Westminster John Knox Press released the book. Pastor Ken Wilson released a similar work, A Letter to My Congregation, with a smaller independent press.

My sources within Christian publishing tell me that many similar titles by gay Christians, professors, and pastors who have changed their positions are being acquired and developed now.

One such book is Facing the Music: Discovering Real Life, Real Love, and Real Faith by Jennifer Knapp, which is set for release in October. Knapp is a Grammy-nominated Christian musician who has come out as a lesbian. Howard Books is a Christian imprint of Simon & Schuster that also publishes the Duck Dynasty brand and many conservative evangelical authors.

Howard is not a member of NRB, but the publisher is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA). Mark Kuyper, president and CEO of the ECPA, says no members have attempted to challenge Howard or Waterbrook Multnomah's membership. Publishing books affirming same-sex relationships would not be grounds for removal, according to Kuyper, because it would not violate the ECPA's statement of faith.

Kuyper agreed with my hunch that we're at the beginning of this trend. He told me that he expects to see more titles from Christian publishers released on both sides of the issue in the coming months and years.

"Part of what is so wonderful about publishing is that it is the marketplace of ideas," Kuyper says. "Christianity has gotten to the point where it is brave enough to publish two sides of a hot-button issue from a biblical perspective, and that's really impressive. I can't recall a time when I've ever seen this happen before, and I think it is a positive development."

We can assume that many of Kuyper's conservative Christian colleagues don't share his optimism about this trend in Christian publishing. Of course, what matters is not what the religious talking heads think, but whether the masses of pew-sitting, church-going, vote-casting Christians will be persuaded.

And mark this down: If the battle over same-sex relationships being fought among conservative Christians is won by the pro-gay advocates among them, the larger cultural war is all but over.

http://theweek.com/article/index/264339/christian-bookstores-are-the-next-gay-marriage-battleground
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« Reply #67 on: July 15, 2014, 09:03:21 am »

   1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Vote Allows Female Bishops in Church of England

 For the first time in history, women will be allowed to serve as bishops in the Church of England. The decision by the General Synod overturns generations of traditional rules discriminating against female clergy members.

According to World.Mic, members of the Church of England proposed a change in rules in 2012, but traditionalist members of the denomination resisted. Now women have the opportunity to "exert proportional influence and representation within the domestic church leadership, impacting policy and decision-making, providing a necessary perspective on critical issues of debate," World.Mic reports.

The Church of England's decision follows similar policy changes in other Anglican denominations in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/vote-allows-female-bishops-in-church-of-england.html
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« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2014, 05:02:48 pm »

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/07/evangelicals-gay-marriage-108608.html#.U8hfALHt928
7/7/14
Evangelicals Are Changing
Their Minds on Gay Marriage

And the Bible isn’t getting in their way.

By JIM HINCH

July 07, 2014

Amy Tincher is an evangelical Christian who plays bass in the band at her suburban Ohio church, where she and her fellow congregants firmly believe the “words we adhere to” are those in the Bible. But last summer, without telling her husband and two kids exactly what she was doing, she boarded a plane for a conference in Kansas whose purpose many evangelicals would plainly consider heretical.

Tincher was one of 50 people flown from around the country and the world—Canada, China, Nigeria and South Korea—to a four-day Bible boot camp dedicated to discussing, and embracing, gay relationships. The gathering was organized by Matthew Vines, who by then was enjoying modest fame for a 2012 YouTube video in which Vines, looking even younger than his 21 years, delivers an hour-long lecture arguing that the Bible does not, in fact, condemn all same-sex relationships. The video has gone viral, racking up more than 730,000 views to date, landing Vines on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Styles section and helping him raise $100,000 for the conference, where he launched The Reformation Project, a nationwide network of pro-gay evangelicals committed to ending their church’s longstanding hostility toward gay people.

Tincher told me she had once “tried on” an anti-gay attitude to fit in with her conservative community in Liberty Township, outside Cincinnati, but like many evangelicals, she struggled to see how homophobia could accord with an all-loving Christian God. So when her pastor sent her a link to Vines’ video, she recalls, “I remember sitting in my kitchen and just crying. I knew it in my heart, but I had never been told that from the pulpit.”

It’s no secret that attitudes toward same-sex relations have changed in this country: Gay marriage is legal in 19 states plus the District of Columbia, and all major public opinion surveys now show a majority of Americans are in favor of it. But Matthew Vines and Amy Tincher are no longer outliers either: Increasingly, even evangelical Christians, long known for doctrinally condemning homosexuality, are embracing gay people, too.

Matthew Vines' video arguing that the Bible does not condemn same-sex marriage has gotten more than 730,000 views on YouTube, and helped him start a network of evangelicals committed to ending anti-gay attitudes in the church.

Over the past decade, evangelical support for gay marriage has more than doubled, according to polling by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute. About a quarter of evangelicals now support same-sex unions, the institute has found, with an equal number occupying what researchers at Baylor University last year called the “messy middle” of those who oppose gay marriage on moral grounds but no longer support efforts to outlaw it. The shift is especially visible among young evangelicals under age 35, a near majority of whom now support same-sex marriage. And gay student organizations have recently formed at Christian colleges across the country, including flagship evangelical campuses such as Wheaton College in Illinois and Baylor in Texas.

Even some of the most prominent evangelicals—megachurch pastors, seminary professors and bestselling authors—have publicly announced their support for gay marriage in recent months. Other leaders who remain opposed to gay unions have lowered their profiles on the issue. After endorsing a gay marriage ban passed in California in 2008, Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of one of the country’s biggest megachurches, said in 2009 that he had apologized to all “all my gay friends” and that fighting gay marriage was “very low” on his list of priorities. Just last month, the Presbyterian Church, a Protestant denomination with a significant, though declining, minority of evangelicals, voted to allow ministers to perform same-sex weddings in states where they are legal.

Support for same-sex marriage remains lowest among evangelical Christians, but they are beginning to catch up: Between 2001 and 2014, evangelicals saw the largest percent increase in support for gay marriage, compared to other religious groupings surveyed by Pew Research.

The change has taken conservative political leaders by surprise, fractured the coalition against gay marriage and begun to dry up funding for some of the traditional-marriage movement’s most prominent organizations. Just a decade ago, conservative Christians powered an electoral surge that outlawed gay unions in 11 states and, in the view of many political analysts, helped to ensure President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection. Barely one in 10 evangelicals supported gay marriage, and church leaders like Warren urged their followers to vote against same-sex unions. Evangelicals “could not stand idly by while the radical gay agenda was forced down their throats,” James Dobson, then the chairman of the conservative Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family, said at the time. At its extreme, evangelical denunciation of gay people turned hateful and violent. Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart drew widespread condemnation in 2004 when he told an audience, “I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m gonna be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.”

Now, Christian political groups, including Focus on the Family and the National Association of Evangelicals, have virtually stopped campaigning on the issue, shifting their focus to legal efforts to shield religious business owners from having to cater to gay weddings. Republican politicians, who historically have relied on evangelical support, are backing away, too. In Ohio, where in 2004 evangelical activists were among the first in the nation to campaign for a successful ballot measure outlawing gay unions, both Rob Portman, the state’s Republican senator, and Jim Petro, former Republican attorney general, now support overturning the ban.

“We must prepare people for what the future holds, when Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality aren’t part of the cultural consensus but are seen to be strange and freakish and even subversive,” Russell Moore, chief political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote in an April blog post. As if in confirmation of Moore’s warning, the following month, a Southern Baptist congregation outside Los Angeles became the first in the 16 million-member denomination to vote to accept gay worshippers even if they are in relationships. “I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality,” the church’s pastor, Danny Cortez, wrote in an online statement.

Such views will only become more common in the years ahead, says Jeremy Thomas, an Idaho State University sociologist who has studied conservative Christians’ changing attitudes toward homosexuality. “Evangelicals will more or less come to embrace homosexuality in the next 20 to 30 years,” Thomas predicts. “I would put all my money on that statement.”

***

For a branch of Christianity devoted to scriptural interpretation, a debate about gay marriage was bound to contend with what the Bible says on the matter. Sure enough, as the politics of same-sex marriage have changed, a quiet movement to change evangelicals’ very interpretation of the Bible has gained momentum.

Just a few years ago, opposition to homosexuality was considered a cornerstone of conservative Christian thought, and gay relationships presented what many Christian leaders described as an existential challenge to orthodoxy. “What’s at stake here is the very foundation of our society, not only of America but all Western civilization,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, declared following a 2003 Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas sodomy ban. Liberal Christians have argued for years that the Bible’s statements on sexuality, ranging from endorsement of polygamy to praise of celibacy, are complicated and rooted in their historical contexts. But now, pro-gay rights evangelicals want to prove that supporting gay relationships doesn’t contradict the authority of scripture.

That’s the idea behind Matthew Vines’ Reformation Project, whose second conference is expected to draw as many as 900 people to Washington, D.C., this fall. Vines, now 24, came up with the idea for the project after taking a leave of absence from his studies Harvard University to study the Bible and Christian history, all in an effort to convince fellow evangelicals, including his own parents in Wichita, that they should embrace gay people like him. He argues that the handful of biblical passages that evangelicals often cite as condemning same-sex relationships—the Sodom and Gomorrah story, for instance, or St. Paul’s denunciation of pagan Roman men “consumed with passion for one another”—need not be interpreted as anti-gay.

In April, when Vines published a book about these beliefs, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, it sparked a torrent of online conversation and prompted the National Religious Broadcasters, an association of Christian media groups, to kick out the book’s Christian publisher for “unbiblical material.” But God and the Gay Christian now sits near the top of several religion bestseller lists on Amazon, and, even more strikingly, prominent evangelical pastors are echoing Vines’ interpretation.

“While influenced by God, [the Bible] is not dictated by God,” Adam Hamilton, the pastor of an influential Methodist megachurch near Kansas City, Missouri, said in a recent interview. “It is possible to be a faithful Christian who loves God and loves the scriptures and at the same time to believe that the handful of verses on same-sex intimacy are like the hundreds of passages accepting and regulating slavery or other practices we today believe do not express the heart and character of God.” Evangelical scholars like James Brownson, professor of New Testament studies at Western Theological Seminary in Michigan and author of the book Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships, similarly believe that people in same-sex relationships can still be redeemed by God. “Can gay and lesbian people experience the work of the Spirit and transformation of heart such that their sexual desire can be drawn into the life of God and reflect God’s love?” he said to me. “My answer is yes.”

Of course, many evangelicals still uphold traditional church teachings on homosexuality and rush to defend them. Days before Vines’ book was published, the American Family Association, a Mississippi-based evangelical nonprofit organization, issued a press release headlined, “God and the Gay Christian Is Anything but Biblically Accurate: American Family Association Calls Out Book’s False Message and Misleading Marketing.” “What we are seeing is the impact of this relentless brainwashing by the mainstream media, and it affects people that aren’t thinking clearly or aren’t grounded in a biblical worldview,” AFA’s issues analysis director, Bryan Fischer, told me. “There are some evangelical leaders who are sounding a very defeatist tone—the battle is over, and we lost and we have to get used to it. That kind of defeatism just has no place in the evangelical community.”

And yet, even in the statements of evangelical leaders ardently opposed to same-sex marriage, there is a new tone of uncertainty. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, posted a lengthy online critique of Vines’ book the day it was published. “Evangelical Christians in the United States now face an inevitable moment of decision,” Mohler writes. While calling Vines’ argument “neither true nor faithful to Scripture,” he acknowledges that it is “nonetheless, a prototype of the kind of argument we can now expect.”

That argument is making its mark on politics, too.

Since World War II, notes Jeremy Thomas, the Idaho State sociologist, evangelicals have moved toward more liberal views on numerous social issues, including divorce, women in the workplace and pre-marital sex. In more recent years, they also have embraced liberal views on an array of social justice causes, such as climate change, human trafficking and immigration reform.

**That's what we were saying all along - these "evangelicals" showed through and through their hypocricies when they turned a blind eye to no-fault divorce, women in the workplace(a feminism agenda to boot), and social justice.

But the particular issue with the biggest implications for evangelical views of homosexuality may be the AIDS epidemic in Africa. A decade ago, inspired in part by the activism of Rev. Rick Warren’s wife, Kay, evangelicals helped to persuade President Bush to propose his landmark $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. A side effect of the effort was stronger ties between evangelical churches and AIDS relief organizations, many of which are staffed in large part by gay people. In a 2006 interview for an article I co-wrote in Guideposts magazine, Kay Warren recalled meeting the gay director of a local Orange County HIV outreach organization. The outreach director “wanted to know what we thought of homosexuality, and I was stumbling my way through that,” she recalled. “What I had going for me was he could tell that I was sincere and that I genuinely did care about people with HIV, and I wasn’t trying to judge people or clients from his agency.

Kay Warren’s collaboration with the gay community appears also to have affected her husband, who has continued to tone down his rhetoric on same-sex marriage. After apologizing for publicly endorsing California’s Proposition 8, Rick Warren, perhaps the country’s most famous evangelical pastor, went even further last year. “Sex is for a man and a woman in marriage,” he told Piers Morgan, but added, “It’s not against the law for you to love anybody, a man or a woman, OK? It’s not criminal—at least shouldn’t be.” Asked in another interview to comment on false rumors that his son Matthew, who committed suicide last year after a long battle with mental illness, was gay, Warren said, “Matthew wasn’t gay. But if he was, we would have loved him unconditionally anyway. It wouldn’t make one difference at all.”

Evangelical Christians like Warren still might never go so far as to support laws allowing gay marriage in the United States. But leading anti-gay marriage organizations are already feeling the financial effects of the evangelical population’s widespread moderation. The National Organization for Marriage, which has funded nationwide efforts to prohibit gay unions for the past seven years and last month sponsored its annual March for Marriage in Washington, D.C., reported a roughly $2 million deficit on its 2012 tax return, the most recent publicly available. And just three donors contributed nearly two-thirds of the organization’s $9.3 million in donations that year.

On April 30, NOM President Brian Brown appealed to followers in an urgent blog post about the upcoming march: “It’s the end of the month and bills are coming due. Contracts have been signed that require payment in advance for logistics, equipment, consumables, travel arrangements and many, many more critical details. We are still around $25,000 short of our $100,000 fundraising goal for this month—will you help us close the gap with an immediate and generous donation?” In a phone interview that same day, Brown insisted, “We have lots of support.” But he also conceded, “We have some debt, but not at the 2012 level. … We don’t accept the dominant narrative that this is lost.” (Brown did not respond to a follow-up request for comment after the march about NOM’s finances or estimates that the march drew only a few thousand protesters.)

Pro-gay rights groups, in contrast, are bringing in more and more money, said Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. He pointed to the money behind a pro-gay outreach initiative among several national gay advocacy organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, that aims to expand LGBT rights in Southern states; Colorado gay rights philanthropist Tim Gill has committed $25 million to the effort. In 2012, the AFA, in comparison, raised $17.2 million and ended the year with a $4.5 million deficit, according to tax records. “They spend more on this one specific project than comprises our entire budget,” Fischer said. “There’s no way in the world we’re going to outspend them.”

In response, evangelical groups are changing their political priorities. Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family, said opponents of gay marriage currently have no plans to introduce new ballot measures banning same-sex marriage outside the 31 states where it is already illegal. “You have to take the long view and the spiritual view about these cultural swings,” he said, “and try to protect the territory you can.”

In evangelical communities like Amy Tincher’s, the transformation is still a work in progress. She says her husband, Adam, once “mildly” homophobic, is “listening to me and hearing me.” In May, the couple decided to leave their Liberty Township church, New Vienna United Methodist, and join a United Church of Christ congregation closer to their home, where Tincher was “blown away by the acceptance and the welcoming” at Sunday services. Tincher had started a pro-gay Bible study group at New Vienna and informally counseled gay teens, but some of her peers were turned off; two of them left the roughly 75-person congregation for a few weeks when they learned of her activism, the pastor, Sarah Chapman, told me. “I felt a tug like it was time to move on [to] a congregation that is hungry, thirsty for the knowledge that I have,” Tincher says.

At the church she is leaving behind, it’s clear the topic of same-sex relationships is at least fading as a cause for hostility. A lesbian couple has even started attending services there. “It’s almost like there’s an armistice agreement in our congregation,” Chapman, the pastor, says. “I do not preach about homosexuality from the pulpit, because this is an issue about which good people disagree.”

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« Reply #69 on: July 18, 2014, 05:05:20 pm »

http://abpnews.com/culture/social-issues/item/28922-baptist-church-ordains-transgender-woman
7/10/14
Baptist church ordains transgender woman

In what is likely a first, Calvary Baptist Church in Washington ordained Allyson Robinson, who was previously ordained as a man, to the gospel ministry.

A transgender woman who attended George W. Truett Theological Seminary and pastored a church in Central Texas as a man has returned to the pulpit.

Allyson Robinson began June 23 as transitions pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington. The calling is temporary — helping with preaching, mentoring and pastoral care duties along with the deacons until the church names a longer-term intentional interim pastor — probably this fall.

Calvary Baptist reaffirmed Robinson’s ordination June 15, prior to Pastor Amy Butler’s departure to become senior minister of the historic and progressive Riverside Church in New York City.

“Allyson Dylan Robinson is a minister of the gospel, trained for the task, and ordained to the gospel ministry by another community in which she has served as pastor,” Butler said in an ordination litany later posted on her blog.

“Over the course of her journey, God has invited her to step into the faithful witness of a new identity, a true identity, and a new name,” she continued. “While we have always known her as Allyson, she was ordained with a different name.”

Robinson, an LGBT-rights activist who has worked in the past for the Human Rights Campaign and as executive director of OutServe, a network for gays in the military, has previous experience in pastoral ministry including five years at Azorean Baptist Church in Portugal and as pastor of Meadow Oaks Baptist Church in Temple, Texas, while studying for her M.Div. at Truett Seminary between 2005 and 2007.

A 1994 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Robinson was commissioned as an officer in the Army. Then known as Daniel Robinson, she commanded PATRIOT missile units in Europe and the Middle East, served as a senior trainer/evaluator for NATO and was an adviser to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

She resigned her commission in 1999 to pursue a calling to Christian ministry. She enrolled at Truett intending to continue in ministry as a Christian man, but her first few semesters turned into soul searching about gender-identity issues that had haunted her since childhood.

“I prayed for 25 years of my life, since I was old enough to know how to pray, that God would fix me,” Robinson told the Waco Tribune-Herald in 2011. “I did everything I thought God wanted me to do, that a good Christian man should do.”

When things got to the point where she contemplated suicide, Robinson went into therapy. About halfway through her M.Div. studies she told loved ones about her desire to live as a woman. Danyelle Robinson, who married Daniel Robinson in 1994 and is the mother of their four children, stood by her spouse.

Robinson postponed her “coming out” until her graduation from Truett in December 2007, because of Baylor University policies regarding homosexuality and gender identity. She resigned from the pulpit before her final semester.

Today Robinson runs Warrior Poet Strategies, a consulting firm that advises clients on organizational design, change strategy, diversity management and social and civic entrepreneurship.

“Calvary’s affirmation of my ordination is certainly very meaningful to my family and me,” Robinson said in an email July 9. “Prior to my ‘coming out,’ we lamented that soon we would never be welcome in a church of our tradition again. To our great joy the Calvary family proved us wrong, just as it has so many others who have felt similar fears.”

“They have embraced Danyelle, our children, and I wholeheartedly and unreservedly,” she said. “They've ministered to us in our times of need and offered us the opportunity to minister to others in theirs. Calvary has been a catalyst for real healing in our lives — the kind that has empowered us to serve with our whole selves and demands that we do no less.”

Eva Powell, chair of Calvary’s personnel committee, said the church is grateful for Robinson’s leadership and her willingness to serve.

“As an active member of our congregation, Allyson has preached for us on many occasions, served in various lay leadership positions and ministered to fellow Calvary members,” Powell said. “We have all had the chance to witness the many ways God has blessed her with a talent for ministry.”

“When it came time to find someone to help lead us until an interim is in place, Allyson was an obvious and natural choice, as someone already within our congregation who is gifted to serve in this capacity,” Powell said. 

Robinson’s ordination service came just weeks after a Time cover story headlined “The Transgender Tipping Point” forecasting the next big social movement to challenge prevailing cultural beliefs.

Meeting June 10-11 just up the road from Calvary in Baltimore, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution opposing both attempts to alter “bodily identity” through cross-sex hormone therapy or gender-reassignment surgery and “all efforts by any governing official or body to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy.”

Powell said the decision by Calvary’s leadership board to select Robinson as transitions pastor was unanimous and indicative of the congregation’s long tradition of striving “to open ourselves to the movement of God's Spirit in our individual lives and the life of our community.”

“Quite simply, this is who we — Calvary Baptist Church, specifically, and Christians more generally — are called to be,” Powell said, “a place that reflects God’s love and recognizes, affirms and nurtures God’s call in each of our lives.”
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« Reply #70 on: July 18, 2014, 07:10:51 pm »

Quote
But the particular issue with the biggest implications for evangelical views of homosexuality may be the AIDS epidemic in Africa. A decade ago, inspired in part by the activism of Rev. Rick Warren’s wife, Kay, evangelicals helped to persuade President Bush to propose his landmark $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. A side effect of the effort was stronger ties between evangelical churches and AIDS relief organizations, many of which are staffed in large part by gay people. In a 2006 interview for an article I co-wrote in Guideposts magazine, Kay Warren recalled meeting the gay director of a local Orange County HIV outreach organization. The outreach director “wanted to know what we thought of homosexuality, and I was stumbling my way through that,” she recalled. “What I had going for me was he could tell that I was sincere and that I genuinely did care about people with HIV, and I wasn’t trying to judge people or clients from his agency.”
Wow...yeah, knew that Warren did alot of damage to churches in America, but nonetheless did NOT know he went to THIS extent!(by getting churches to work with AIDS relief organizations et al, which have sodomite staff members) And THIS when Bush II was in his FIRST term in office!(not that Bush was ever good, but just saying)

So he was doing his part to bring in the sodomy agenda to churches ALL ALONG!(and not just "recently" when he "backed down" his support for CA's Prop Cool
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« Reply #71 on: July 18, 2014, 11:20:00 pm »

Baptist church ordains transgender woman

In what is likely a first, Calvary Baptist Church in Washington ordained Allyson Robinson, who was previously ordained as a man, to the gospel ministry.

Oh you have to be kidding me...

*barfs*

I want to stay here and continue working for the Lord, but at the same time, when I hear things like this, it makes me want to go up sooner...
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« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2014, 10:19:23 am »

Oh you have to be kidding me...

*barfs*

I want to stay here and continue working for the Lord, but at the same time, when I hear things like this, it makes me want to go up sooner...

Yeah, whenever I read stories like these - it's a constant reminder that the rapture is very imminent. I know I've been saying since 2008 that the 7 year time of Jacob's trouble is right around the corner(and who knows if we have a couple or so more years), but nonetheless STAY SOBER, don't love this present world, and keep looking up especially when you read stories like this that are WAY beyond anyone's imagination!
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« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2014, 07:04:16 am »

Apostate United Church of Christ Sponsoring Ohio’s ‘Gay Games’

 The Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, which is considered to be apostate by biblical Christians, has sponsored the 2014  international Gay Games—the world’s largest homosexual sporting event—which is currently being held in Ohio until Saturday.

According to reports, the denomination is a silver sponsor of the event, which is stated to be hosting approximately 8,000 homosexual athletes from around the world. The “Gay Games” began on Saturday and continue through August 16th at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, featuring a variety of sporting competitions, from track and field to basketball and softball. Silver sponsorship is the fourth highest level of sponsorship for the games.

Over 30 United Church of Christ congregations are said to have lended to the sponsorship, including Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas, Trinity United Church of Christ in St. Petersburg, Florida, First Congregational United Church of Christ in Hillsboro, Oregon, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Laramie, Wyoming and Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Mountville, Pennsylvania.

“It’s a win-win offer of support that will enable the United Church of Christ to be listed among the Gay Games’ top corporate sponsors,” said the J. Bennett Guess, the first openly-gay national officer of the UCC. “[Gay Games] organizers realize that the UCC can play an integral and important role in dispelling the pervasive myth that all people of faith are anti-gay, and we are excited to share our message of extravagant welcome and radical inclusivity.”

In addition to sponsoring the event, an article posted on the United Church of Christ website outlines that two national staff members will compete in the games “to demonstrate the UCC commitment to inclusion, diversity, justice and human rights.” Sandy Sorensen, director of the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries office in Washington, D.C, and Mike Schuenemeyer, the UCC’s executive for health and wholeness advocacy, will participate in running, swimming and golfing competitions during the week.

The United Church of Christ, which is outside of biblical orthodoxy and was the first American religious group to ordain homosexuals and affirm abortion, also made headlines earlier this year when it filed a legal challenge against North Carolina’s same-sex “marriage” ban, asserting that it violates the free exercise of religion among clergy.

“By denying same-sex couples the right to marry and prohibiting religious denominations even from performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, the State of North Carolina stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as the religious institutions and clergy that believe in equal rights,” the suit stated, as reported by the Charlotte Observer.

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Other named in the lawsuit included Joe Hoffman of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville; Robin Tanner of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church; Jonathan Freirich of Temple Beth El; Nancy Kraft of Holy Trinity Lutheran, Nathan King of Trinity Reformed UCC in Concord; Mark Ward of Asheville Unitarian Universalist Congregation and Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist in Raleigh.

“It boils down to a view on the authority of Scripture,” Clint Pressley of Hickory Grove Baptist Church told the Charlotte Observer. “The denominations listed have abandoned almost 2,000 years of Christian Orthodoxy. It’s not surprising.”

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, likewise lamented the actions of the religious groups that filed the legal challenge.

“These individuals are simply revisionists that distort the teaching of Scripture to justify sexual revolution, not marital sanctity,” she said.

http://christiannews.net/2014/08/12/apostate-united-church-of-christ-sponsoring-ohios-gay-games/
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« Reply #74 on: August 29, 2014, 06:19:03 am »

Seventh-Day Adventist Church Facing Lawsuit for Appointing **** as Youth Leader

 The Seventh-Day Adventist Church is facing a $13.5 million lawsuit for allegedly appointing a known **** to a youth group leader position. Two men have said they were sexually abused by the youth leader while involved with the “Pathfinder” group in the 1970s.
 
Leslie Bovee, who had previously served time in prison for sexually abusing three boys, was appointed to head the Pathfinders group, a co-ed youth program in 1972. Bovee was charged again in 1975 for molesting a 12-year-old boy, but continued to lead the group until he left the church in 1979.
 
Attorney Peter Janci, representing the plaintiffs said, "This is a situation where they knew this guy had abused kids and they didn't just let him in the church, they put him in charge of the youth program.”
 
Charisma News reports the men filed suit against the Seventh-Day Adventist Church when they learned the church knew that Bovee was a known sex offender.
 
Richard Whittemore, attorney to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church said, "The church is very aware of all of the issues and takes great pains to make sure this kind of behavior is not going to be repeated.”

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/seventh-day-adventist-church-facing-lawsuit-for-appointing-****-as-youth-leader.html
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« Reply #75 on: September 02, 2014, 02:35:45 pm »

So Now We Have 'Gay Theology'?!

First, it was Matthew Vines and his book, God and the Gay Christian. Now, a much more prominent "Christian" "comes out" publicly shouting down anyone who tries to present the truth. Well-known "evangelical" recording artist and social commentator, Vicky Beeching has just revealed that she is "gay." In a recent TV interview on British TV, she appears opposite evangelical attorney Scott Lively who attempts to present God's view on homosexuality. Beeching refused to hear his side, repeatedly interrupting right over the top of Lively's comments. Finally, the moderator “ran out of time.” (Watch video on the WND website: http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/christian-music-sensation-comes-out-of-closet/)

Lively has written extensively on the subject and recaps the history of the rise of the "gay" steamroller. He notes that, after the 1969 Stonewall riots, homosexual activists focused the movement to take down the opposition of any American institution that opposed them.

One of the first to fall was the American Psychiatric Association that bought the lie that homosexuality was no longer a "disorder," but a normal expression of sexuality. Since that first victory just 40 years ago, every other major opposing group has been conquered, including the Boy Scouts just a year ago.

The only organization left is fundamental, bible-believing churches. Most of the liberal, mainline denominations have caved, assisted by new Bible versions gutted of their truth on the subject.

Vines' book claims that Sodom and Gomorrah was only an incident of gang ****, not "sodomy," and that Leviticus 18 is old, outdated law. (This is the same chapter that forbids: incest, adultery, child sacrifice and bestiality.)

Neither Vines nor Beeching will tolerate questioning their basic assumption that they were born "that way;" that's how God made them. Sadly, many "evangelicals" have bought this lie. Even the pope has come out okay with being homosexual, just don't act on it.

Vines discounts the Old Testament statements, claiming that only recently has it been scientifically "discovered" that there are other "orientations" (genders) than male and female.

Lively is sounding a warning what to expect: “All of their battle-hardened activists and enormous resources are all directed at the church,” he says.

And church leaders have not been preparing for the upcoming attack, often ignorant of the issues. Beeching threw down the challenge in the London interview: “What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people,” she said. The battleground for this lie is our young people.

But is her god the God of the Bible? When you “feel certain” of something, does it make it true? Devout Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, even Mormons “feel certain” about their gods, but they do not match the God of the Bible.

Her god is the same benevolent old grandfather doting on his precious children who can do no wrong. Sure, the God of the Bible is LOVE, but reject the gracious guidelines for His kingdom and righteous judgment becomes His only alternative. The key biblical concept here is called “affection.” Homosexuals talk about “attraction” and “orientation,” as if they have no control. But in his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul instructs us to “SET your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” God assumes we have control and requires that we use it.

Solomon’s proverb (4:23) commands: “Keep your heart with all diligence...,” again assuming we are not helpless with our affections locked into an “orientation.”

To counter the imminent attack, the church must first arm itself with God’s preserved words in English, the Authorized King James Bible. Modern versions have compromised His words, giving the enemy ammunition to create doubt in God’s viewpoint. Then we must speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) to our young people, guiding them in guarding their hearts and shepherding their affections away from the lie that God created more than two genders.

http://www.chick.com/articles/gay_theology.asp
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« Reply #76 on: September 03, 2014, 04:46:59 am »

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« Reply #77 on: September 11, 2014, 08:36:54 pm »

I really hate it when a Catholic makes a good argument...  But some good points...

Cardinal: U.S. ‘Creed’ on Gay Marriage Like Sharia Law

Cardinal Francis George, head of the Catholic archdiocese of Chicago, said the levers of power in government, education, entertainment, and media are enforcing a “public creed,” a “fake church” that requires all citizens to approve of gay marriage and related sexual anomalies or be punished by the State, just “as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

Cardinal George, who was president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2007-10, made his remarks in his Sept. 7 column for the archdiocesean newspaper. In his commentary, the cardinal explains that America, despite social frictions at certain times, had always strived to ensure religious freedom and respect for different religions.

The State, in the past, had “kept its promise to protect all religions and not become a rival to them, a fake church,” said the cardinal.

But that has now changed, he said. “In recent years, society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered ‘sinful,’” he continued.  “Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes.”

“What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval,” said Cardinal George, whose archdiocese includes about 2.2 million Catholics.  “The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone.”

“We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family,” he said.  “Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.”

The cardinal then noted that Americans who objected on religious grounds to the Obamacare mandate on contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs, were chastised by many in the media, including the liberal Huffington Post, which claimed the opposition, and the six Catholic judges on the Supreme Court, raised “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen.”

This was not the anti-Catholic voice of nativists, or the Know-Nothing Party, or the Ku Klux Klan, said the cardinal, but, “rather, the self-righteous voice of some members of the American establishment today who regard themselves as ‘progressive’ and ‘enlightened.’”

“The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics,” said Cardinal George.  “Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be.”

“This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god,” he said.  “It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to ‘swim against the tide,’ as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.”

The cardinal continued, “Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers.”

“Nor will their children, who will also be suspect,” he said.

“Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics,” said Cardinal George.  “It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

Cardinal George went on to argue that U.S. civil law has done much to weaken and destroy the family, which in turn has forced the State to impose more and more restrictions on people and their activities that are unloosed from the “internal restraints that healthy family life teaches.”

He also says that many of the “tenets of the official State religion” are largely dictated by elements of a certain social class, noting that “’same-sex marriage,’ as a case in point, is not an issue for the poor or those on the margins of society.”

How the situation may end, said the cardinal, is unclear because there are many Americans, “even among the ruling class, who do not want their beloved country to transform itself into a fake church.”

Catholics and traditional Christians know by faith, said Cardinal George, that Christ will return to judge the living and the dead and the church “will be there to meet Him.”

However, “[t]here is no such divine guarantee for any country, culture or society of this age or any age,” concluded Cardinal George.

The archdiocese of Chicago, established in 1843, serves about 2.2 million Catholics through 356 parishes, and with more than 1,400 priests and 1,600 women religious. The archdiocese operates 44 schools and 5 colleges, the latter educating 49,000 students. The archdiocese also oversees 17 Catholic hospitals, assisting 2.6 million people a year, and helps another 1.2 million people through 150-plus different charities.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/cardinal-us-creed-gay-marriage-sharia-law
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« Reply #78 on: September 15, 2014, 08:54:31 pm »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/15/us-evangelicals-gay-marriage_n_5824174.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
9/15/14
Progressive Evangelicals Launch Campaign To Expand Christian Support For Same-Sex Marriage

(RNS) As more states affirm same-sex marriage, U.S. evangelicals continue to wrestle with homosexuality, setting boundaries for what’s acceptable and what’s not, and setting the stage for a heated fall election season.

This week, things got hotter.

A new group called Evangelicals for Marriage Equality launched Tuesday (Sept. 9) and is collecting signatures from evangelicals who support same-sex marriage. Its advisory board includes author and speaker Brian McLaren, former National Association of Evangelicals vice president Richard Cizik, and former USAID faith adviser Chris LaTondresse. Cizik resigned from his NAE position over his support for same-sex civil unions.

“Our organization is not taking a theological position on the issue of the sacrament of marriage,” said spokesman Brandan Robertson. “We just want evangelicals to see that it is possible to hold a plethora of beliefs about sexuality and marriage while affirming the rights of LGBTQ men and women to be civilly married under the law.”

Testing evangelical boundaries didn’t work well for World Vision earlier this year when it decided and then reversed its position on same-sex employees. The new marriage equality group is already facing challenges from evangelical institutions. An ad it placed with Christianity Today, World and Relevant magazines was rejected by all three evangelical mainstays.

The organization, founded by two straight evangelicals, Josh Dickson and Michael Saltsman, will join other groups planning to dialogue on same-sex marriage this fall.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission will host a conference in Nashville, Tenn., in October on “The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage,” urging faith leaders to oppose same-sex marriage.

At the other end of the spectrum, author Matthew Vines will lead a gathering in November in Washington focused on LGBT inclusion in churches. Vines is hopeful the new group might change evangelical minds.

“We still haven’t arrived at a sea change among evangelicals, but the tone and passion around the issue of civil marriage equality has certainly been changing as more evangelicals are accepting that same-sex marriage will soon be the law of the land, whether they are pleased about it or not,” Vines said. “I think they have a chance to persuade more evangelicals to lay down their arms in this culture war battle that has been so harmful to the primary mission of the church.”

The group’s arguments may sway younger evangelicals who are more open to the idea that theology shouldn’t dictate public policy, said Eric Teetsel, director of the Manhattan Declaration, a conservative movement focused on life, marriage and religious freedom issues.

“It’s ironic that you have a group of politically liberal Christians who have made a name for themselves specifically by using theological principles to advocate political ends,” Teetsel said. “If you told them that what the Bible says about caring for the poor shouldn’t be applied to foreign policy, they would dismiss it. I’m confused to why they draw this line when it comes to marriage.”

Research on evangelicals suggest that younger evangelicals are more likely to support same-sex marriage than those of an older generation, though many still resist it.

In 2012, Pew found that 29 percent of young white evangelicals (age 18-29) expressed support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, higher than older evangelicals at 17 percent. That’s far below the level of support for same-sex marriage expressed by young adults as a whole (65 percent).

A 2014 Public Religion Research Institute survey suggested that white evangelical Protestant millennials are more than twice as likely to favor same-sex marriage as the oldest generation of white evangelical Protestants (43 percent compared to 19 percent).
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« Reply #79 on: September 16, 2014, 09:54:21 pm »

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/September15/153.html#lYJMZcLgYCFUijrf.99
How Have Churches Changed When It Comes To Race, Size, Worship And The Treatment Of Gays?

September 16, 2014 | Billy Hallowell

A new study examining worship environments at 1,331 American churches, synagogues, temples and other houses of worship found that on the whole, the faithful have become more accepting of gays and lesbians, embracing both demographic and tactical changes over the past six years.

The National Congregations Study found that from 2006 to 2012, the number of congregations that were open to allowing gays in leadership roles rose substantially from 18 percent to 26.4 percent, according to a press release announcing the results.

Additionally, the proportion of houses of worship accepting gays for membership during this same time frame rose from 37.4 percent to 48 percent.

Those increases didn’t hold across the board, though: Catholic churches were actually less accepting of gays in 2012 than they were six years earlier. And only 4 percent of white, conservative Protestant churches said in 2012 that gays would be permitted to participate in volunteer positions.

The National Congregations Study also revealed changes as they relate to the size of congregations, demographics and the tactics used in worship over the past six years.

The results showed that American churches are shrinking on average, with the average size of a congregation now at 70 members, down from 80 when the same study was first conducted in 1998.

“The average size of a congregation in the United States is declining,” Duke University sociology professor Mark Chaves explained in a video recapping results. ”Interestingly though, the size of the congregation that an average person goes to has increased over time. What that means is more and more people are shifting from smaller congregations to larger congregations.”

There are other changes afoot inside American churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship, including more racial diversity in the pews.

While 20 percent of individuals attending in 1998 attended all-white houses of worship, that proportion has dropped to 11 percent in the latest wave of the National Congregations Study.

“That’s driven by important social changes like upward mobility among blacks and increasing racial intermarriage,” said Chaves, who directs the study. “And, of course, immigration.”

These trends come at a time when many churches are working to adapt to changing technologies and sensibilities. The research found that more people are attending churches and houses of worship where more upbeat music, shouting, dancing and other expressions are prevalent, including the use of visual elements and projections.

“The percentage of people attending services with drums, for example, rose from 25 percent in 1998 to 36 percent in 2006 and to 45 percent in the most recent survey,” the press release read. “The percentage attending services using visual projection equipment rose from 15 percent in 1998 to 32 percent in 2006 to 45 percent in 2012.”

Chaves said worshippers may be looking for more emotional experiences in the pews.
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« Reply #80 on: September 21, 2014, 06:13:41 pm »

FYI - this article is written by Gene Robinson(who became the 1st sodomite Episcopalian President to have a sodomite marriage partner) - but this is NOT an op-ed.

With that being said - the Apostate Church is largely marketing themselves toward young people - here's one of the big pitfalls they're yoking themselves up with...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/21/meet-the-young-evangelical-pro-gay-movement.html

Meet the Young, Evangelical, Pro-Gay Movement
A gay 24-year-old evangelical Christian is leading the charge toward tolerance among conservative Bible Belt Christians.

9/21/14

Something extraordinary is happening at the intersection of religion and LGBT people.  You may not have noticed it, because you thought it was impossible, and so you weren’t watching for it. But make no mistake, there is something wonderful happening to/for conservative Christians who have traditionally condemned same-sex relationships: a youth-led movement that could change evangelical perceptions of LGBT people forever.

For many years, the LGBT movement has been picking the “low fruit” of religious people who have felt that the historical and religious treatment of gay people was wrong. Most often, these religious people, who had been taught by their religion to condemn LGBT people, came to know someone gay, and realized that all the bad things said about them simply were not true. And so they came to believe that their religion—and the Bible on which it is based—is simply wrong on this issue, outdated, and locked in the past. They felt uncomfortable with those few passages of scripture that seemed to condemn same sex behavior, and dismissed them as a product of their times, and inappropriately applied to what we know today about sexual orientation.

LGBT people have reaped enormous rewards because of this widespread change of opinion.  Recent years have seen the fall of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and the spreading of marriage equality to 19 states and the District of Columbia. Much of the east and west coasts offer a safe bubble in which LGBT people can live their lives in relative safety and recognition of their relationships.

But there is much of the rest of the country in which this new reality of acceptance has not taken hold, and religion is at the center of why. Many in the LGBT community have largely written off conservative religious people as simply bigoted. But the fact remains that many religious people have very real religious and Biblical beliefs that hold them back from acceptance of gay people and gay relationships. Merely calling these religious conservatives “bigots” seems to me not to be very loving, because it fails to acknowledge and honor the beliefs these people hold dear. And the serious work of meeting these conservative evangelicals on their own terms, with the accompanying difficult task of explaining those offending passages of scripture, has not been done. Until now.

Matthew, who is himself gay and a Bible-believing Christian from a conservative Christian family, took two years off from his studies at Harvard to research the Biblical injunctions against same sex behavior.

A new breed of young and smart evangelicals is doing that work. And it is probably work that only those who are conservative evangelicals can do. It’s not merely a case of people using language and approaches popular among evangelicals. Rather, this work is being done by those who hold the scriptures in as high a regard as those whose minds they are trying to change on this issue. It means treating these conservative Christians as people whose beliefs about scripture are honorable and worthy, even if ill-informed on this subject. It means meeting these “Bible-believing” Christians on their own terms.

One of this new breed of evangelicals is Matthew Vines, an intense 24-year-old from Kansas who became an internet sensation with his hour-long video on why Bible-believing Christians can and should become affirming of LGBT people.  Despite its length and occasional tediousness, that video has been watched (and re-watched) by nearly 800,000 viewers.

Matthew, who is himself gay and a Bible-believing Christian from a conservative Christian family, took two years off from his studies at Harvard to research the Biblical injunctions against same sex behavior. The result was not only this video, but also a new book, God and the Gay Christian, which describes his journey with his parents and conservative Christian fellow church people in discovering what the Bible really says about same sex behavior. It answers the question which seems the most relevant to those conservative Christians, the question which is at the center of changing one’s mind on the subject: Is the Bible talking about the same thing as we are talking about today when we discuss homosexuality? (Spoiler alert: the answer is “no.”)

In addition to having a fine, meticulous mind, Matthew also has an entrepreneurial gift, and he has launched The Reformation Project, which may very well change evangelical Christianity’s understanding of this issue. The Reformation Project seems to have two goals: to engage conservative Christians in rigorous study of the scripture that has been used to condemn homosexuality and its expression, and to equip those whose minds have been changed with the tools to engage other conservative religious people in this endeavor.

It is not easy work, but it calls the bluff of those who would say “we have to take scripture seriously.” It counters with “okay, let’s really take the scriptures seriously—seriously enough to study them and see what they are really saying in their own context, and let’s be bold enough to entertain the notion that we may have gotten it wrong.” As Matthew Vines himself says, “LGBT people and their allies have to be able to discuss Scripture in a way that is both highly respectful and carefully reasoned from an evangelical theological framework.”

To this end, The Reformation Project is launching a series of conferences to lay out the serious discussion of these Biblical passages and to equip participants with the tools to have those discussions in their conservative churches and communities. The next conference will be held in Washington, DC—not exactly a place known for its adherence to the Bible—on November 6-8, 2014.

It would be easy to overlook the importance of this shift in thinking and approach, inaugurated by young gay evangelicals and other evangelicals who themselves have LGBT friends and family. Long after marriage equality is the law of the land, there will still be hearts and minds to be won to the notion of not merely tolerating, but affirming LGBT people and their relationships.  For evangelicals, the way forward is not around scripture, but directly through it. The Reformation Project offers the way. And that’s good news for LGBT people everywhere.

The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Washington, DC, and the IX Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire.  Follow him on Twitter @BishopGRobinson
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« Reply #81 on: September 30, 2014, 04:43:25 pm »

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/09/29/5208297/former-charlotte-pastors-if-i.html#.VCqVnhbt928
9/29/14
Former Charlotte pastor's 'If I have gay children' blog goes viral

Posted: Monday, Sep. 29, 2014

A blog written by a former Charlotte pastor entitled "If I Have Gay Children" has gone viral after he outlined the steps he would take if his children turned out to be homosexual.

Pastor John Pavlovitz wrote the blog on Sept. 17 and says it has been read more than 1.5 million people on his website since he posted it.

In the blog, Pavlovitz writes that "sometimes I wonder if I'll have gay children" and says he thinks about it often.

"Maybe it's because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It's in my genes and in my tribe," he wrote. "Maybe it's because, as a pastor of students, I've seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church."

He says that as a Christian he has interacted people who "find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity."

He says there are simple steps he will take if his children are homosexual: he'll love them, accept them and pray for them.

"I won't pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them; from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them, simply because of who they are,
" he wrote in his blog.

"I'll pray He shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell, without ever knowing them at all," Pavlovitz continued. "I'll pray that they enjoy life; that they laugh, and dream, and feel, and forgive, and that they love God and humanity."

Pavlovitz says he won't hide from anything, either.

"[If they are gay] My children won't be our family's best kept secret," he wrote. "I won't try to spare the feelings of those who may be older, or easily offended, or uncomfortable," he continued. "Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I'm not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues. If my children come out, we'll be out as a family."

Pavlovitz, who spent eight years in Charlotte as a pastor at Good Shepherd Church UMC, says he's excited that the message has gone viral and so many people from different walks of life have connected with it.

"You want people to read the words, that's why you write them," he told WBTV.

Since the blog was posted, Pavlovitz says he's spent several hours a day pastoring to people who have reached out to him saying they were touched by his blog.

He says people have reached out from inside the church, in addition to people who have moved away from the church due to their circumstances and the way they were treated.


"I was prepared for some people to applaud it, and for others to condemn it. That's what happens whenever you put an opinion out there," he said. "I was fully prepared for the waves of both support and hostility that accompany any vantage point, especially on a controversial topic like this."

"What I was not prepared for in any way, were the literally hundreds and hundreds of people who have reached out to me personally to thank me for bringing some healing and hope to their families; for giving them a message they rarely get from Christian leaders," he continued.

"People who haven't ever before, or in many years, are telling me the piece has moved them to engage with God and with the Church, which is the most any pastor can hope for."

Pavlovitz says these types of conversations are not only good to have, they are important to have while retaining your dignity and the dignity of others.

He is now working with a community house church in Wake Forest, North Raleigh Community Church, and hopes to one day create an online church to bring in more people from different walks of life.

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« Reply #82 on: October 12, 2014, 08:57:46 am »

United Methodist Church Pastors Bless Gay Wedding without Consequence

 Responding to a complaint, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church has opted to pardon dozens of clergy members that blessed a gay wedding.
 
Thirty-six UMC ministers blessed a homosexual wedding Nov. 9 at Philadelphia’s Arch Street United Methodist Church, violating the denomination’s Book of Discipline according to Charisma Magazine.
 
"Though I may sympathize with the pastoral concerns of the respondents, it is unacceptable to disregard and disobey the Book of Discipline," said Philadelphia Area Bishop Peggy Johnson. "I pledge that, in future cases where clergy within my jurisdiction officiate or host a same-gender ceremony, any complaints that I receive will be handled swiftly and with significant and appropriate consequences, which may include a trial, involuntary leave of absence without pay, or other significant consequences, in accordance with the Discipline and in consultation with the Board of Ordained ministry and the clergy session of the annual conference."
 
Clergy maintain they participated in the ceremony to show support for their colleague, the Rev. Frank Schaefer who officiated the service of his homosexual son’s wedding.
 
Charisma Magazine reports the ceremony was conducted before gay marriage was legalized in Pennsylvania earlier this year.
 
The rebuke came in response to the complaint of several dozen evangelical United Methodists in the conference, who in exchange of the pardon, agreed to seek no further punishment of the "Philadelphia 36."
 
"This episode presents another example of United Methodism's traditionalist majority going out of its way to be gracious and conciliatory as they uphold the historic Christian faith and seek to minister to all people in a biblically loving way, while a disruptive liberal minority keeps playing hardball in undermining our church,” said John Lomperis, Institute on Religion and Democracy’s United Methodist Action Director.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/united-methodist-church-pastors-bless-gay-wedding-without-consequence.html
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« Reply #83 on: October 28, 2014, 11:34:20 pm »

Disclaimer: Huffington Post news source.

Nonetheless - apparently sodomites are running rampant in the Southern Baptist Convention, just as much as Freemasons.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-jeff-hood/when-southern-baptists-get-saved_b_6052284.html
When Southern Baptists Get Saved
Posted: 10/28/2014 6:08 pm EDT

Salvation was always such an important part of my upbringing. We were constantly begged, pushed, prodded and manipulated to go down the aisle. If I got saved once, I got saved a hundred times. When the preacher started talking about hell and the rhetorical fires started tickling my toes, I especially felt the tug to make sure I was sure about all this salvation stuff. The older I got, the more skeptical I became of the saved rhetoric. With all the oppressive language and actions that surrounded us, I didn't see anyone getting saved from anything. I actually began to wonder if getting saved actually made things worse. Then it started happening.

There was a man at our church I loved dearly. With seemingly magical powers, Brother Bobby captured my childhood attention and taught me about the love of God. Before then, I never thought that God could love me as an individual. Brother Bobby believed in me and taught me that God did too. I didn't think Southern Baptists could teach like this. I asked him one Sunday morning what made him so different and he replied, "Just like you, I am growing into who God created me to be." Months later, Brother Bobby was kicked out of our church for coming out as gay. Many years after, I saw pictures of Brother Bobby joyously smiling and holding hands with his partner. I knew Brother Bobby got saved.

I wrestled with my own sexuality for years. Whenever I found a man attractive, I just knew I was going to hell... probably ***** first. Though I remained mostly attracted to women, I didn't know what to do with this other piece of me. I kept it quiet. Then I grew close to Pastor Greg. For decades, Pastor Greg led Southern Baptist churches. I decided to open up with him about my sexuality and he assured me that God lovingly created me just the way that I am. A few years later, Pastor Greg called me while I was a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and told me that he was dying of cancer. When I made it to his bedside, Pastor Greg told me that he had lived his life as a closeted gay man. With tears in my eyes, I knew that Pastor Greg was finally getting saved.

Not long after, one of my classmates asked if we could talk. When we sat down late one night, Marcus told me that he was gay. If we were at any other school this revelation would have been less of a deal, but we were students at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Having contemplated suicide in the struggle to keep it quiet, I could see the visible relief in Marcus' body when he told me. Later, Marcus came out and declared that he was a gay Southern Baptist pastor. I knew he got saved.

There are countless stories like these. People who got saved from hate and fear to live into the person that a loving God has created them to be. Unfortunately, the entire Southern Baptist system opposes such a salvation. I struggled with my sexuality and suicide throughout my early years as a Southern Baptist and my tenure at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Throughout this time, people consistently told me their secrets. Honestly, I now feel like I know more closeted Southern Baptist pastors than I do straight Southern Baptist pastors. Earlier this week, I asked people in our largely LGBT congregation at the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ to stand if they felt like they were direct victims of physical and emotional abuse at the hands and mouths of the Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Baptist churches or Southern Baptist pastors. Hundreds and hundreds of people stood up and demanded that I tell their stories when I arrived at the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission conference.

From personal experience, I know that stories change lives. When Southern Baptists get saved, I see them blossom into amazing storytelling evangelists of the power of the love of God. I believe that God can work miracles. While in Nashville, I hope we see a few people get saved.

Amen.
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« Reply #84 on: October 31, 2014, 12:03:26 am »

While I don't support any of the secular medical industry, at the same time it's pretty obvious Moore's true colors are slowly coming out of the woodwork...

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/10/28/evangelical-leader-russell-moore-denounces-ex-gay-therapy/
10/28/14
Evangelical leader Russell Moore denounces ex-gay therapy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore denounced reparative therapy at a conference here, saying the controversial treatment that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation has been “severely counterproductive.”

Moore, who serves as president of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, spoke to a group of journalists Tuesday (Oct. 28) covering the group’s national conference.

“The utopian idea if you come to Christ and if you go through our program, you’re going to be immediately set free from attraction or anything you’re struggling with, I don’t think that’s a Christian idea,” Moore told journalists. “Faithfulness to Christ means obedience to Christ. It does not necessarily mean that someone’s attractions are going to change.”

**Uhm...Romans 1:18-32 says sodomy is a JUDGMENT OF GOD! And forget about all of those Christian testimonies of former sodomites who find this lifestyle disgusting.

Moore said evangelicals had an “inadequate view” of what same-sex attraction looks like.

“The Bible doesn’t promise us freedom from temptation,” Moore said. “The Bible promises us the power of the spirit to walk through temptation.”

**Uhm, no - scripture says this...

1Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1Thes 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.


Moore gave similar remarks to an audience of 1,300 people at the conference. The same morning, the conference featured three speakers who once considered themselves gay or lesbian.

Moore joins a chorus of psychologists and religious leaders who have departed from the once-popular therapy.

In 2009, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution urging mental health professionals to avoid reparative therapy. Since then, California and New Jersey have passed laws banning conversion therapy for minors, and several other states have considered similar measures.

Earlier this year, the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors amended its code of ethics eliminating reparative therapy and encouraging celibacy instead.

John Paulk, who was once a poster boy for the ex-gay movement, apologized in 2013 for the reparative therapy he used to promote. Earlier this year, Yvette Schneider, who had formerly worked for groups such as the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and Exodus International, published a “coming out” interview with GLAAD calling for bans on reparative therapy. In addition, nine former ex-gay leaders have denounced conversion therapy.

“There were utopian ideas about reparative therapy that frankly weren’t unique to evangelicalism,” Moore said. “That was something that came along in the 1970s and 1980s about the power of psychotherapy to do all sorts of things that we have a more nuanced views about now.”

Some pastors, like John Piper, a respected Minneapolis preacher and author, still encourage the possibility of change for those who have same-sex attractions.

Exodus International, one of the most prominent ex-gay ministries shut down in 2013. While other ex-gay groups such as Restored Hope Network still exist, many religious leaders are now encouraging people with same-sex attraction to consider celibacy.

“The idea that one is simply the sum of one’s sexual identity is something that is psychologically harmful ultimately,” Moore said. “And I think also we have a situation where gay and lesbian people have been treated really, really badly.

**But have you read Romans 1:18-32 and 1st Corinthians 6:9-10?

Moore said the ERLC is working with parents of those who are gay and lesbian.

“The response is not shunning, putting them out on the street,” he said. “The answer is loving your child.”


**What about the prodical's son in the book of Luke? His father LET HIM GO to the pig-pen(and ultimately his son returned and repented, after being in such dire desperation). So are you saying these parents should FOLLOW their children to the pig pen?

For years, gay evangelicals had three options: leave the faith, ignore their sexuality or try to change. But as groups such as Exodus became unpopular, a growing number of celibate gay Christians have sought to be true to both their sexuality and their faith.

**Celibate gay Christians? Uhm...1st Corinthians 7 is written to MAN/WOMAN married people!

A newer question among some Christians is whether those with same-sex attraction should self-identify as gay.

In his address Monday, traditional marriage advocate Sherif Girgis plugged the website Spiritual Friendship, intended for Catholics and Protestants who identify as gay and celibate. Some Christians are debating whether identifying as gay or having a same-sex orientation is itself unbiblical.

“It’s not the way I would articulate it because I think it puts on an appendage to a Christian identity,” Moore said. “So I don’t see them as enemies who are trying to be destructive; I just don’t think it’s the best way to approach it.”

Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian who rejects the “ex-gay” label and the movement behind it, said Christians should not use “gay” as a descriptive adjective. Moore interviewed Butterfield, whose address at Wheaton College generated protests earlier this year, during Tuesday’s conference.

“There is no shame in repentance because it simply proves that God was right all along,” Butterfield told Moore.


Another conference speaker and Moody Bible Institute professor Christopher Yuan teaches a more traditional message of celibacy for those who, like him, are attracted to the same sex. He shuns labels, but he believes more younger Christians are self-identifying as gay and celibate.

“I’m kind of label-less,” Yuan said before his address. “I think I’m a dying breed, though.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's not only a matter of if, but when persecution comes via the 501c3 corporate church opening their doors to sodomites.
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« Reply #85 on: October 31, 2014, 10:06:54 pm »

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=27870
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS BEGIN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE DIALOGUE WITH LGBT COMMUNITY
10/31/14

EXCEPT THOSE DAYS BE SHORTENED SHOULD NO FLESH BE SAVED

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Southern Baptists took their first steps towards their eventual acceptance of same-sex marriage by meeting with members of the LGBT community at the  Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission 2014 Conference in Nashville. While neither side relinquished their position, most in attendance agreed that a shift had indeed taken place.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—A gathering of Southern Baptists here opened this week with Albert Mohler, stalwart head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, apologizing for “denying the reality of sexual orientation,” but saying orientation “can change.”

It closed with a pastor saying “no one goes to hell for being homosexual,” but he added Christians must remind gay friends and family members that “the day of judgment is coming.”

The statements from the largest and one of the most conservative Protestant denominations made waves in the religious and gay communities. Some praised the Southern Baptist Convention for softening its tone and message when discussing homosexuals. Critics complained that nothing really had changed.

But others who attended said a shift was taking place. In private meetings and one-on-one encounters during the week, Southern Baptists and gay-rights advocates said they established relationships they hope will carry both sides through a time of deep cultural change, particularly as the church navigates issues such as the increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage.

Mr. Mohler this week met with Matthew Vines, an openly gay Christian author who argues the Bible doesn’t prohibit lifelong same-sex marriage. Mr. Mohler wrote a response to Mr. Vines’ book, “God and the Gay Christian.”

“It was a gracious, honest conversation. I think all evangelical Christians are having to learn anew how to discuss these issues,” Mr. Mohler said.


The pair agreed to keep in touch over email, and alert each other if one ever felt wrongly portrayed by the other.

“This was an amazing event,” said Mr. Vines. “Not for the public sessions but for the private meetings. It’s not like anyone is suddenly pro-gay,” said Mr. Vines. But, he added, “it feels like a new era.”

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« Reply #86 on: November 02, 2014, 08:08:00 am »

Saw this last night - yeah, while these "Southern Baptists" still act like they're holding the line - look at the crafty language they're using...

http://time.com/3544312/baptist-conference-gays-lesbians-bishops-pope-francis/

The ERLC conference, by contrast, is not an open forum—dissenting voices are not included in the presentations. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, opened the gathering on Monday in a defensive posture, saying that Western society is experiencing “a moral revolution” happening “at warp speed,” one that now celebrates things that were previously condemned. “We are accustomed to speaking from a position of strength,” Mohler said, explaining how traditional evangelical opposition to homosexuality is no longer mainstream.

Sin is a central topic in Nashville, and one that was noticeably absent from the Synod’s public documents. Mohler suggested in his opening remarks that Christians should approach gays in ways “not about their sin (homosexuality) but about our sin (all shortcomings).” Glen Stanton, director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family, continued the theme: “Every one of us is stricken with an eternal disorder called sin,” he said in his talk called, “Love my (LGBT) Neighbor.” “How do we love gay and lesbian people? … The great equalizer is our sin.”

--------------------------------------------------------

Don't these people know that Jesus Christ died and shed his blood for our sins? It's as if they're telling sodomites "We have sin, but you don't".

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

1Peter 3:14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1Pe 3:16  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

1Pe 3:17  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Luke 15:4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Luk 15:5  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Luk 15:6  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
Luk 15:7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 
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« Reply #87 on: November 08, 2014, 07:57:05 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/tv-campaign-gay-equality-starting-miss-170610624.html
TV campaign for gay equality starting in Miss
11/8/14

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) — Mary Jane Kennedy considers herself a conservative Christian Republican, and she's led Bible studies in her native Mississippi for decades. She's also the mother of two gay sons and one of the faces in a new advertising campaign aimed at softening religious opposition in the Deep South to equal rights for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign is taking on the region's longstanding church-based opposition to homosexuality in a series of groundbreaking television commercials, direct-mail messages and phone-bank operations designed to promote equality and legal protections for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

TV commercials will begin airing Monday in Jackson, the state's largest city and prime media market, with Kennedy featured as a mom who struggled to understand her own sons' sexuality and believes God loves them, just like everyone else. The commercials also will be available online, as will banner ads on websites.

Other commercials may follow in Alabama and Arkansas depending on the reception and results of the Mississippi campaign. The Mississippi effort — which will cost $310,000 — is part of an $8.5 million, three-year effort launched six months ago in the three states.

Brad Clark, director of Project One America for Human Rights Campaign, said the commercials are the group's most direct effort yet to confront religious attitudes involving sexual orientation and non-traditional gender identification.

Polls have shown that Mississippi is among the most religious states, with more than half of its 3 million residents belonging to Southern Baptist churches. At the same time, Mississippians are far less likely than the average American to say they know someone who is gay, according to Human Rights Campaign.

"It's the first time we've led with this message, and it's historic for the South," said Clark.

The commercials will begin airing two days before a federal court hearing in Jackson on a Mississippi law that bans same-sex marriage. Opponents of the ban are seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the ban from being enforced while a lawsuit seeking to overturn it is pending. In November 2004, Mississippi voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

After a series of recent court decisions, gay couples have the right to marry in 30 states. However, earlier this month a panel of federal judges from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld anti-gay marriage laws in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

Kennedy, 61, was initially apprehensive about speaking out so publicly about such a private topic, but she said her faith led her to the belief that spreading kindness, love and caring was more important than her own fears.

Justin Kelly of Jackson says the spots could help build acceptance in his home state. The 25-year-old Iraq war veteran is openly gay and will be featured in his Army Reserve uniform in another TV spot during the campaign, called "All God's Children."

"The values that are already in place in Mississippi are what we're looking for: To be friendly, to be open, to have conversations," said Kelly.

The president of the conservative American Family Association, Tim Wildmon, said he doubts advertising will have much of an effect on the attitudes of Mississippi residents in the pews.

"If you're trying to change peoples' fundamental religious views that's a pretty daunting task," said Wildmon, whose Tupelo-based organization owns and operates 194 radio stations in 38 states, including 12 in Mississippi. "For those who take the Bible literally there are some pretty clear scriptural references ... that show homosexuality is unnatural."

The Human Rights Campaign has said it wants to change the "hearts and minds" of people through the campaign, but Wildmon is dubious.

"What's wrong with the hearts and minds of Southerners?" he said.
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« Reply #88 on: November 08, 2014, 08:03:12 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/tv-campaign-gay-equality-starting-miss-170610624.html
TV campaign for gay equality starting in Miss
11/8/14

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) — Mary Jane Kennedy considers herself a conservative Christian Republican, and she's led Bible studies in her native Mississippi for decades. She's also the mother of two gay sons and one of the faces in a new advertising campaign aimed at softening religious opposition in the Deep South to equal rights for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
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« Reply #89 on: November 13, 2014, 11:28:49 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/love-thy-gay-bor-religious-pro-lgbt-ads-214735776.html
Love Thy ‘Gay-bor’: Religious Pro-LGBT Ads Target Baptists in the Deep South
11/12/14

Mary Jane Kennedy is a self-described “Bible-believing, born-again Christian.” The Mississippi mother of three sons has taught Sunday school and Bible study at her Baptist church.

When her middle son was about to graduate from college, he came out to Kennedy as gay.

“Nothing in my life had ever prepared me for that,” said Kennedy. “I said, ‘What’s going to happen? This is going to tear our family apart.’ ”

She was most concerned about how her husband would take the news.

“It’s hard to talk to somebody and tell them something you know is going to break their heart,” she said.

But they both took it in stride, and Kennedy is now sharing her story in a video that’s part of a four-week media blitz—using TV and online advertisements, phone banks, door-to-door visits, and public education efforts—launched by the Human Rights Campaign in Mississippi this week. Dubbed All God’s Children, the campaign to promote LGBT acceptance and marriage equality doesn’t shy away from religion when it comes to changing minds in the heart of the Bible Belt.

The civil rights group has enlisted “everyday” Mississippians, from an openly gay Iraq war veteran to a transgender woman, to share their stories in this series of ads. Kennedy’s testimony is the first to air, and her story is one many will be able to relate to, said Brad Clark, director of HRC’s Project One America, which focuses on improving LGBT equality in Southern states.

“Seeing the love that she has and the faith that she has, really resonates with so many people,” Clark said.

The ads will air on major networks during peak hours, such as in commercial breaks during the nightly news, said Clark. The $310,000 campaign is the first of its kind in the South; its focus is on one specific demographic: the faithful.

That is why Mississippi is ground zero for this fight. For starters, it’s the most religious state in America, according to a 2013 Gallup poll of more than 174,000 people all over the country. In Mississippi, 61 percent of the population was deemed “very religious.” This means more than half the population surveyed said that religion is an important part of their daily lives and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week.

An estimated 55 percent of the state’s population is Baptist, the Human Rights Campaign reports, one of the most conservative denominations of Christianity. So the group has focused its message accordingly, saying humans need to treat one another with respect and leave the judgment to God.

“Many of us grew up with the golden rule,” said Clark. “And regardless of how we believe on various political issues, that is a common value we all hold dear.”

But the majority of Southern Baptists may not feel the same way. Although Mary Jane Kennedy has “every right to voice her opinion,” she is at odds with most of the other churches in the Mississippi Baptist Convention, William H. Perkins Jr., spokesman for the board, wrote in an email to Take Part.

Perkins cited portions of the church’s official statement of faith to prove his point. He wrote that Christians are told to oppose “all forms of sexual immorality fornication, including adultery, homosexuality sodomy, and pornography” in the Baptist creed, which also specifies heterosexual marriage as the only acceptable variety.

“It is difficult to misinterpret those passages to represent that most Mississippi Baptists would be anything but fully opposed to the Human Rights Campaign’s efforts in this state,” Perkins wrote. “$300,000 is a lot of money to spend on a program that is doomed to fail.”

That sum is just the start for Project One America, whose overarching $8.5 million initiative, of which All God’s Children is one part, aims to extend into Arkansas and Alabama. These Southern states are highly conservative and religious, and they are being targeted because they have no state nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in employment, housing, or public accommodations.

All God’s Children arrives at the perfect time in Mississippi. A lawsuit pushing for repeal of the state’s gay marriage ban has landed before a federal judge, and the two sides will present their arguments in court on Wednesday.
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