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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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Psalm 51:17
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« Reply #90 on: November 13, 2014, 11:31:37 am »

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.


James_1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
James_1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
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« Reply #91 on: November 18, 2014, 05:46:41 am »

Gay Couple Files Complaint Against Denomination with Pastor’s Approval

 Two homosexuals who attend a United Methodist Church (UMC) in Winston-Salem, N.C., have lodged a complaint with Methodist officials against their pastor for not marrying them. Although same-sex marriage became legal in North Carolina last month, the UMC, like most Christian denominations, does not permit clergy to perform same-sex weddings or ceremonies.
 
Green Street United Methodist Church announced the complaint against its senior pastor, Kelly Carpenter, during a press conference Nov. 12. The couple, Kenny Barner and Scott Chappell, say that by refusing to marry them, Carpenter is violating the UMC Book of Discipline’s requirement for pastors to “perform the work of the ministry” and refrain from “gender discrimination.”
 
The couple’s Oct. 30 complaint stated they had been “victimized by Reverend Carpenter’s adherence to United Methodist Church rules,” and that the denial of a church-ordained marriage had caused “great spiritual harm to us both.”
 
The move appears to be a coordinated effort by the couple and the pastor to challenge UMC rules. Barner and Chappell are active members of Green Street Church, and Chappell is listed on the church’s website as executive director of one of the church’s social service ministries. Barner is chair of the church’s leadership council, according to United Methodist News Service. The church openly advertises its inclusion of “LGBTQ” members and has, since 2009, been part of the Reconciling Ministries Network, a group of activist UMC churches seeking to change church policy toward marriage and ordination of gays.
 
Carpenter himself supports same-sex marriage. He told United Methodist News Service the complaint was “right on the money” and that he would have co-signed it if he could. UMC rules prevent him from conducting a gay marriage without the risk of discipline. In protest of church policy, Carpenter promised in March 2013 to refrain from performing a heterosexual marriage at the church until the UMC changes its position.
 
“The national opinion and political culture is rapidly changing on the issue of gay marriage,” Carpenter wrote at the time. “Our United Methodist denomination has failed to lead the way in this struggle for equality, and will once again have to catch up to the culture.”
 
Green Street Church has a Sunday attendance of around 190 people. It did not immediately return a request for comment.
 
The complaint, under review by the church’s regional conference, could exacerbate the contentious issue of same-sex marriage within the denomination. The UMC defrocked Pennsylvania Pastor Frank Schaefer last year for performing a same-sex ceremony, but reinstated him last month on a technicality.
 
Last week, the UMC’s Council of Bishops released a statement recognizing “the divisions that exist” between the church and some bishops regarding “human sexuality.”
 
Larry Goodpaster, the bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference, said in a statement that he had received the complaint and would review it according to the UMC’s Book of Discipline. “This is now a personnel matter and will be done in confidentiality,” he said. Under church rules, Goodpaster could dismiss the complaint or refer it to a church legal official for further consideration.
 
“The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching,” states the UMC’s 2012 Book of Discipline. “Therefore, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”
 
The Book of Discipline adds: “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.” The UMC could only change its stance on homosexuality through its General Conference, which next meets in Portland, Oregon, in 2016.
 
North Carolina officials began handing out same-sex marriage licenses last month after a federal judge overturned the state’s law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Several magistrates—court-appointed officials authorized to perform marriages and various civil and criminal duties—have stepped down from their posts since then, citing a conflict between same-sex unions and their faith.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/gay-couple-files-complaint-against-denomination-with-pastor-s-approval.html
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« Reply #92 on: November 18, 2014, 06:01:55 am »

Major “Christian” Publishing House To Change Organization Structure So It Can Continue Publishing Pro-LGBT Propaganda Without Hearing Born-Again Believers' Criticisms


The Crown Publishing Group announced in early November it would separate the staff and operations of WaterBrook Multnomah, which publishes books by evangelical authors, and Convergent, an imprint that allows for more liberal theology. This past spring, Convergent published God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines, which argues against the sinfulness of homosexuality. The book cost Waterbrook Multnomah the trust of many in Christian publishing and membership in the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent share staff and operate under the same corporate umbrella. The NRB wanted Multnomah to promise no one on its staff would work on a Convergent book, which it would not do...

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/christian-publisher-splits-conservative-progressive-imprints.html
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« Reply #93 on: November 18, 2014, 04:47:31 pm »

The enemy has struck from within...
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« Reply #94 on: November 27, 2014, 08:23:44 pm »

You know - I'm tired of these parents playing the "It's not my fault!" game. And they will always send their sodomite children in the care of other (corruptible-fleshed)men, hoping they would get cured.

http://news.yahoo.com/evangelicals-gay-children-challenging-church-203000318.html
Evangelicals with gay children challenging church
11/27/14

Rob and Linda Robertson did what they believed was expected of them as good Christians.

When their 12-year-old son Ryan said he was gay, they told him they loved him, but he had to change. He entered "reparative therapy," met regularly with his pastor and immersed himself in Bible study and his church youth group. After six years, nothing changed. A despondent Ryan cut off from his parents and his faith, started taking drugs and in 2009, died of an overdose.

"Now we realize we were so wrongly taught," said Rob Robertson, a firefighter for more than 30 years who lives in Redmond, Washington. "It's a horrible, horrible mistake the church has made."

The tragedy could have easily driven the Robertsons from the church. But instead of breaking with evangelicalism — as many parents in similar circumstances have done — the couple is taking a different approach, and they're inspiring other Christians with gay children to do the same. They are staying in the church and, in protesting what they see as the demonization of their sons and daughters, presenting a new challenge to Christian leaders trying to hold off growing acceptance of same-sex relationships.

"Parents don't have anyone on their journey to reconcile their faith and their love for their child," said Linda Robertson, who with Rob attends a nondenominational evangelical church. "They either reject their child and hold onto their faith, or they reject their faith and hold onto their child. Rob and I think you can do both: be fully affirming of your faith and fully hold onto your child."

It's not clear how much of an impact these parents can have. Evangelicals tend to dismiss fellow believers who accept same-sex relationships as no longer Christian. The parents have only recently started finding each other online and through faith-oriented organizations for gays and lesbians such as the Gay Christian Network, The Reformation Project and The Marin Foundation.

But Linda Robertson, who blogs about her son at justbecausehebreathes.com, said a private Facebook page she started last year for evangelical mothers of gays has more than 300 members. And in the last few years, high-profile cases of prominent Christian parents embracing their gay children indicate a change is occurring beyond a few isolated families.

James Brownson, a New Testament scholar at Western Theological Seminary, a Michigan school affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, last year published the book "Bible, Gender, Sexuality," advocating a re-examination of what Scripture says about same-sex relationships. His son came out at age 18.

Chester Wenger, a retired missionary and pastor with the Mennonite Church USA, lost his clergy credentials this fall after officiating at his son's marriage to another man. In a statement urging the church to accept gays and lesbians, Wenger noted the pain his family experienced when a church leader excommunicated his son three decades ago without any discussion with Wenger and his wife.

The Rev. Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in California, was already moving toward recognizing same-sex relationships when his teenage son came out. When Cortez announced his changed outlook to his congregation this year, they voted to keep him. The national denomination this fall cut ties with the church.

In the United Methodist Church, two ministers with gay sons drew national attention for separately presiding at their children's same-sex weddings despite a church prohibition against doing so: The Rev. Thomas Ogletree, a former dean of the Yale Divinity School, ultimately was not disciplined by the church, while the Rev. Frank Schaefer went through several church court hearings. He won the case and kept his clergy credentials, becoming a hero for gay marriage supporters within and outside the church.

"I think at some point moms and dads are going to say to their pastors and church leadership that you can't tell me that my child is not loved unconditionally by God," said Susan Shopland, the daughter of a Presbyterian missionary who, along with her gay son, is active with the Gay Christian Network.

Kathy Baldock, a Christian who advocates for gay acceptance through her website CanyonwalkerConnections.com, said evangelical parents are speaking out more because of the example set by their children. Gay and lesbian Christians have increasingly been making the argument they can be attracted to people of the same gender and remain faithful to God, whether that means staying celibate or having a committed same-sex relationship. The annual conference of the Gay Christian Network has grown from 40 people a decade ago to an expected 1,400 for the next event in January.

Matthew Vines, author of "God and the Gay Christian," has attracted more than 810,000 views on YouTube for a 2012 lecture he gave challenging the argument that Scripture bars same-sex relationships.

"These kids are now staying in the churches. They're not walking away like they used to," Baldock said.

The collapse of support for "reparative therapy" is also a factor, Shopland said. In June of last year, Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus International, a ministry that tried to help conflicted Christians repress same-sex attraction, apologized for the suffering the ministry caused and said the group would close down. At a conference on marriage and sexuality last month, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, the Rev. Al Mohler, said he was wrong to believe that same-sex attraction could be changed. Baldock, The Marin Foundation and the Gay Christian Network all say Christian parents have ben reaching out to them for help in notably higher numbers in the last couple of years.

"If it doesn't work, then parents are left with the question of what is the answer?" Shopland said. "If I can't change my kid into being a straight Christian, then what?"

Bill Leonard, a specialist in American religious history at Wake Forest Divinity School, said church leaders should be especially concerned about parents. He noted that many evangelicals began to shift on divorce when the marriages of the sons and daughters of pastors and "rock-ribbed" local church members such as deacons started crumbling. While conservative Christians generally reject comparisons between the church's response to divorce and to sexual orientation, Leonard argues the comparison is apt.

"The churches love those individuals and because they know them, those churches may look for another way," Leonard said.

Some evangelical leaders seem to recognize the need for a new approach. The head of the Southern Baptist public policy arm, the Rev. Russell Moore, addressed the issue on his blog and at the marriage conference last month, telling Christian parents they shouldn't shun their gay children. Mohler has said he expects some evangelical churches to eventually recognize same-sex relationships, but not in significant numbers.

Linda Robertson said the mothers who contact her through her Facebook page usually aren't ready to fully accept their gay sons or daughters. Some parents she meets still believe their children can change their sexual orientation. But she said most who reach out to her are moving away from the traditional evangelical view of how parents should respond when their children come out.

"I got a lot of emails from parents who said, 'I don't know one other parent of a gay child. I feel like in my community, I don't have permission to love my child,'" she said. "They have a lot of questions. But then they're going back to their churches and speaking to their pastors, speaking to their elders and speaking to their friends, saying, 'We have a gay child. We love them and we don't want to kick them out. How do we go forward?'"
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« Reply #95 on: November 27, 2014, 08:37:46 pm »

You know - has there even been ONE case where a born-again Christian child was shunned by their heathen parents, and the MSM and (professing)Christian groups showed the least bit of concern?

Any cases? I mean NAME ME ONE case of this?

Luke 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Luke 15:11  And he said, A certain man had two sons:
Luk 15:12  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
Luk 15:13  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
Luk 15:14  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Luk 15:15  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
Luk 15:16  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
Luk 15:17  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Luk 15:18  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luk 15:19  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Luk 15:20  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luk 15:21  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luk 15:22  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Luk 15:23  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
Luk 15:24  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Luk 15:25  Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
Luk 15:26  And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
Luk 15:27  And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
Luk 15:28  And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
Luk 15:29  And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
Luk 15:30  But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
Luk 15:31  And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
Luk 15:32  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
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« Reply #96 on: December 09, 2014, 12:23:38 am »

Don't be deceived by this charade - what Anderson is doing is rallying an army *against* born-again bible believers!

http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/baptist-pastor-steven-anderson-lets-kill-gays-for-aids-free-christmas/story-fnh81jut-1227144118411
Baptist pastor Steven Anderson: ‘Let’s kill gays for AIDS-free Christmas’
12/4/14

GAYS are pedophiles who should be exterminated for an AIDS-free Christmas, an anti-Semitic, Obama-hating pastor told followers on World AIDS Day.
Steven Anderson, the foot-stomping, bible-thumping pastor of Arizona’s small Faithful Word Baptist Church, says the bible states that LGBT people deserve to die for “committing an abomination.”

“Turn to Leviticus 20:13 because I actually discovered the cure for AIDS,” the married father-of-eight said in a December 1 YouTube video called ‘AIDS: the Judgement of God’.

Pastor Steven Anderson's rant

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. And that, my friend, is the cure for AIDS.

“It was right there in the Bible all along — and they’re out spending billions of dollars in research and testing. It’s curable — right there. Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant.”

The fundamentalist also reminded parishioners during his troubling Sunday sermon that gays are banned from his church. About 50 people turned out to hear his rant.

Anderson has caused controversy in the past for sermons demonising Jewish people and women’s involvement in church services, and calling for “socialist devil” President Barack Obama’s death.

**Not trying to sound saracastic here - but where was Anderson's "rants" when "socialist devil" George W. Bush was in office?

His wife, stay-at-home mum Zsuzsanna Anderson, writes a blog about being involved in “the greatest church in the world”.

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

Hate to break it to you Anderson, but you forgot about all of the FORMER sodomites in Corinth that got saved.

1Corinthians 6:9  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,
1Co 6:10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.



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« Reply #97 on: December 12, 2014, 07:17:40 pm »

Apparently - the sons of Belial in scripture refers to sodomites.

2Corinthians 6:15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-gay-canvassing-20141211-story.html
Doorstep visits change attitudes on gay marriage
12/12/14

A single conversation with a gay or lesbian door-to-door canvasser had the ability to change attitudes on same-sex marriage in neighborhoods that overwhelmingly opposed such unions, according to new research.

In a study conducted in Los Angeles County and published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers found that when openly gay canvassers lobbied a household resident about same-sex marriage, the resident was more likely to form a lasting and favorable opinion of gay marriage than if the canvasser was heterosexual.

The doorstep conversations also had a measurable “spillover effect,” in which some household residents who did not speak with the gay canvasser also formed a positive opinion of gay marriage, researchers said.

The experiment was modeled after public outreach campaigns conducted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center in voting precincts that overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, the 2008 state ballot measure that repealed same-sex marriage.

The finding is unusual in that many previous studies have found that active canvassing or political advertising do little to alter firmly held opinions. In fact, researchers were so skeptical of their results the first time that they re-ran the experiment and duplicated their initial results.

"I was totally surprised that it worked at all," said lead author Michael LaCour, a UCLA doctoral candidate in political science.


"A lot of time we find in social science that most things don't work, they don't change people's minds. But we found that a single conversation was able to change voters' minds up to a year later."

LaCour conducted the study with Donald Green, a political science professor at Columbia University.

In all, 9,507 residences were involved in the experiment. Of the 41 canvassers, 22 were gay and 19 were straight.

Residents were randomly assigned to one of three different groups: a treatment group, in which they were lobbied on same-sex marriage; a placebo group, in which recycling was discussed instead of gay marriage; and a control group where nobody was canvassed.

The face-to-face meetings lasted roughly 20 minutes, according to researchers. Gay marriage canvassers would follow a specific script in which they asked residents to name the benefits of marriage. If the canvasser was gay, they would then inform the resident and say they wanted to experience the same benefits. Straight canvassers on the other hand said they were hoping that a close relative who was gay could enjoy the benefits of marriage.

Researchers said that immediately after the canvassing experiment, follow-up surveys showed an 8% increase in favorable opinions of same-sex marriage -- up from an initial acceptance rate of 38%.

The researchers followed up a year later to find out whether the positive opinions had gained ground or diminished.

LaCour said that in cases where the canvasser was gay or lesbian, positive opinions on same-sex marriage had increased a total of 14% above baseline. In comparison, the positive opinion rate among the control and placebo groups had fallen to 3% above the baseline rate.

The researchers also noted that some of the residents' housemates also expressed favorable opinions even though they had not spoken with the canvasser. Researchers said this suggested a spillover effect, in which they were influenced by second-hand exposure to the lobbying visit.

"It's interesting that the effects had the same initial impact whether its a gay or straight person, but that the effect is lasting when its a gay person," LaCour said. "You forget the message but you remember the messenger."


The field experiment was conducted in 2013, during the month leading up to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively overturned Proposition 8.

LaCour said that there was no difference in effect when researchers accounted for race or gender. However he said their was a slightly more positive effect when a gay canvasser was initially perceived as being straight.

"There seems to be something powerful about a counter-stereotypical person advocating," LaCour said.
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« Reply #98 on: December 13, 2014, 08:14:58 pm »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-sosa/what-this-gay-atheist-learned-from-being-an-evangelical-christian_b_6318946.html
What This Gay Atheist Learned From Being an Evangelical Christian
12/13/14

I was raised as a devout Evangelical Christian. My readers know I discarded that identity as an adult and don't mince words whenever the subject of religion arises. But what many probably don't realize is that religion continues to impact my life in profound ways. Sociologists say that even American atheists are often "cultural Christians," as the roots of our identities come from the experiences of both our pasts and current surroundings. And most U.S. citizens were raised in and around Christianity.

Evangelical Christianity, which, like all religious systems, has a host of well-documented problems. But I won't be discussing those here, as it's something I do often. This is about the way communities shape our identities, and how good can be drawn even from the experiences of identities we later reject.

These five concepts exist in many other forms around the world, but I discovered them through being a Christian. After a few years outside the isolation of an Evangelical community, these are values I find most lacking in the mainstream and would pass on to others who are still building their own identities.

Intimacy is not just for romantic partners. Those who have spent a lot of time around Evangelicals will notice that they tend to have uniquely personal relationships with each other. Platonic male friendships are the most noticeable, as they veer outside the emotional boundaries of masculinity in mainstream culture. They're often physically affectionate, talk openly about subjects that make most people feel vulnerable and routinely say "I love you."

Caring for the needs of others leads to a happier life. When someone was without food, clothing, shelter or other necessities, the church would step in to help. And by "the church," I mean the people within it would often individually offer their assistance. Caring for others wasn't just a duty, it was viewed as a privilege. Through that service, people formed bonds that remained throughout their lifetimes and, as a bonus, ensured that goodwill existed for themselves if they fell onto hard times.

Using polite language averts hostility. This easy lifestyle choice is a valuable one for both professional and private interaction. Cursing and overt disrespect almost never lead to a better result, because displays of anger show a lack of self-control and stability while putting the other person on the defense. People have trust for individuals whose behavior isn't abusive, even when having a disagreement.

Music is an essential component of community. Evangelicals sing all the time. And despite what "Footloose" would have you believe, Christian usually love to dance. Music forms a huge part of religious identity. The worship songs of Christianity are often based on communal joy and celebration. Uplifting music is a reliable tool for easing social tension and bringing diverse groups of people together in a dynamic way.

Loving others is our primary responsibility. Evangelical Christians believe that love is greater than even faith, which is written by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. While one can turn on the news and see Christian leaders ignoring this value, it doesn't change the fact that the concept imprinted itself on my life. As a lifestyle vegan, civil rights advocate and progressive political commentator, love remains the guiding force in the derivation of my values.

Will I be returning to Evangelical Christianity? Nope. But that doesn't mean I can't use the best parts of my past to inform the choices I make as I step into the future.
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« Reply #99 on: December 20, 2014, 07:10:51 am »

Yet Another Major Denomination Moves Towards Ordaining Openly Gay Pastors

The Church of Scotland has taken a significant step towards ordaining practicing homosexual ministers, after a majority vote by local bodies.

Out of a total of 45 regional presbyteries, over 30 are thought to have voted in favor of allowing congregations to appoint gay ministers who are in civil partnerships.

The issue has already caused 18 ministers and hundreds of members to leave the denomination.

A final decision will be made after draft legislation is passed to the Church of Scotland's General Assembly in May.

The proposal affirms the church's traditional stance on marriage but allows congregations to "opt out" and ordain practicing gay ministers if they want to.

There has already been extensive opposition to the move.

Today, a protest group called Covenant Fellowship is being launched to campaign for a traditionalist stance within the Church of Scotland.

Rev. Professor Andrew McGowan, a member of the group, said that the church is in the "midst of a severe crisis."

He hopes that the protest will "grow to become an effective campaign group within the Church on behalf of those who believe in Christian orthodoxy."

Last month Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone, who is a member of the church, said that the move would "ultimately weaken" the church.

Rev. Richard Buckley, of evangelical group Forward Together, echoed this sentiment saying it was as if "an ax had been set at the root of the Church of Scotland."

In October this year, every Church of Scotland congregation on the Isle of Lewis, the largest island in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, opposed the move.

A spokesman for the Lewis Presbytery warned that the proposal risked causing "further disunity" within the denomination.

The issue has already caused division within the church.

Last year, Rev. Dominic Smart of Gilcomston South church in Aberdeen resigned from the church and began holding separate services in a hotel.

He described ordaining gay ministers as a "clear and deliberate move away from the authority of Scripture as the Word of God and our supreme rule of faith and life."

http://www.charismanews.com/culture/46523-yet-another-major-denomination-moves-towards-ordaining-openly-gay-pastors
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« Reply #100 on: January 17, 2015, 02:53:51 pm »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/17/supreme-court-gay-marriage-2015_n_6419014.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
1/17/15
If The Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage In 2015, How Will Evangelicals Respond?

(RNS) Ten years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian Americans can be wed in 35 states and the District of Columbia (Florida will boost that number to 36, starting Tuesday). This year, the Supreme Court may put an end to the skirmish by legalizing what progressives call “equality” and conservatives dub a “redefinition” of this cherished social institution.

The court last ruled on gay marriage in 2013 when the justices gutted much of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor and delivered a massive blow to anti-gay marriage advocates. Since then, the court has acted by not acting — in effect, doubling the number of states where gay marriage is legal, from 17 to 35, by refusing to hear a slew of appeals last year.

In November, the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld gay marriage bans in four states, which will almost certainly require the high court to decide the issue once and for all.

Conservative Christians have been among the most ardent opponents of gay marriage and rights for decades. How will they respond if the Supreme Court makes gay marriage legal nationwide?

The answer, it turns out, depends on which Christian you’re speaking to.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has become a leading face for the next generation of Christians opposed to gay marriage. He expects the court to take up marriage this year, and is not optimistic about how they’ll rule given the Windsor decision.

Even so, he doesn’t think such a ruling will make a whit of difference for most of his fellow evangelicals
.


“Evangelicals are, by definition, defined around the Bible and the gospel,” Moore said. “The Scriptures are clear on what marriage is, and clear on the sin of sexual expression outside of the marriage covenant of a man and woman.”

If the court were to “redefine marriage,” Moore said Christians should “be ready to offer an alternative vision of marriage and family” that doesn’t include same-sex unions. Interestingly, his vision would be promoted primarily within the church rather than changing laws through political action.

“We must articulate these truths about marriage in our gospel witness, and we must embody these truths in churches that take marriage seriously,” Moore said. “This means we must start teaching our children a countercultural word about what it means to be men and women, about what marriage is, and that must begin not in premarital counseling but in children’s Sunday school.”

He contends that anyone who supports gay marriage is not an evangelical.

Ryan Anderson, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation who co-authored “What is Marriage?” with Princeton scholar Robert P. George, is a powerful voice among young conservatives. Anderson thinks the court is “very likely” to take up same-sex marriage in 2015 given the 6th Circuit decision, and he believes the decision will come down to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has authored the court’s most significant gay rights decisions.

Anderson (a Roman Catholic, like Kennedy) said the majority of evangelicals will remain opposed to gay marriage regardless of the ruling. But he believes the law can serve a “pedagogical function,” so legalizing gay marriage could “change the public understanding of behavior.” While Anderson won’t predict how conservative Christians at large would react, he said much depends on the behavior of LGBT advocates.

“We’ll have to see how gracious or vindictive voices within the LGBT community are in their responses,” Anderson said. “Will they become a live-and-let-live movement or a stamp-out-dissent movement? If there’s respect, there’s likely to be less pushback from conservatives.”


Anderson and Moore represent a sizable chunk of the Christian population — a majority of evangelicals and half of practicing Catholics oppose gay marriage — but they are not all of it. In recent years, many Christians, particularly younger Christians, have changed their minds on the matter. From 2003 to 2013, support for gay marriage among white evangelicals more than doubled, and support among Catholics rose by 22 percentage points.

Brandan Robertson, national spokesman for the group Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, an organization that believes “you can be a devout, Bible-believing evangelical and support the right of same-sex couples to be recognized by the government as married,” also believes the court will take up the issue this year.

“Christians are increasingly saying that they need to stand up for LGBT equality no matter what they believe theologically,” he said, “and they are doing this not because they are American, but because they are followers of Christ.”

Though Robertson is strident in his support of “marriage equality,” he shies away from addressing whether homosexual behavior is moral, or sinful — representing many Christians who draw a distinction between civil marriage and Christian marriage.

Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network and author of “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate,” believes a Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage is inevitable. While his organization seeks to welcome Christians from a range of perspectives, his comments about marriage mirror Robertson’s.

“There is a distinction between Christian marriage in the eyes of God and civil marriage in the eyes of the state,” Lee said. “My hope is that Christians will continue to see that what the state says marriage is may not line up with what the church or God says.”

Conservatives are changing their minds, albeit slowly, about homosexuality, but are shifting more rapidly on gay marriage.

Even though about half of conservative Christians now believe that gay marriage is inevitable, don’t expect them to slip quietly into the night. Progressives may have the momentum, but conservatives still have a majority. Look to evangelicals to shore up the theology around holy matrimony, and fight to defend their religious liberty rights to oppose same-sex marriage.

“A Supreme Court ruling might be the last word in legal terms,” Moore said, “but it is hardly the last word in cultural or spiritual terms.”
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« Reply #101 on: February 01, 2015, 06:19:37 am »

Megachurch Leader Claims ‘Divine Wind’ Moved Him to Fully Accept Members Practicing Homosexuality

An apostate pastor in the Bible Belt who leads the congregation that country star Carrie Underwood attends recently announced from the pulpit that not only can practicing homosexuals be members, but those in sexual sin can now fully serve in his church and will be allowed to “marry” at the facility.

“Our position that these siblings of ours, other than heterosexual, … cannot have the full privileges of membership, but only partial membership, has changed,” Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee announced earlier this month as some clapped and others sat silently in disapproval.

“Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill, and willingness. That is expected of all,” he continued. “Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and to receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism, but child dedication and marriage.”

Mitchell, 46, claims that God moved upon him three years ago to begin rethinking his position on inclusion in the congregation. Heretofore, GracePointe had allowed those who identify as homosexuals to attend the services, but drew the line at serving in leadership positions or being “married” by the leadership.

“We were thrust, I believe, by a divine wind, into a prayerful, painful, invigorating, careful and hopeful conversation regarding sexual orientation and gender identity,” he said, remarking that the “art of conversation … is a holy calling.” “This has been at the least painful, and at times, devastating.”

Mitchell said that some homosexuals left the congregation because they disagreed with GracePointe’s position, but others also left when he announced a time of listening over the issue because they were appalled that the matter needed to be discussed at all.

“We lost not only those who could bear the pain of partial inclusion no longer, we lost other brothers and sisters who were on the other side, who so deeply believed they knew God’s heart on this matter … as being opposed to any expression of mutual human sexuality other than theirs,” he stated before those gathered.

“These people left because in spite of the fact that they love GracePointe and they loved all of us, they could not bear even a conversation lest it promised to yield a conclusion they already had,” Mitchell said. “I do not blame them. They are on their journey, and I’m on mine.”

The evangelical minister acknowledged after announcing that he had decided to fully embrace homosexuals in the congregation that others may choose to depart.

“Inclusion means that we can live together in agreement and disagreement, but if this stretches you to the point of having to compromise your soul, and you do need to separate, I would be a hypocrite to say I don’t understand that,” he stated. “Because, conversely, my soul has been stretched to the point that if I do not say what I say today, I cannot be here any longer. I have felt this way for many, many years.”

But Mitchell also expressed doubt over his conclusion.

“I am not sure I am right, but I am sure I sense the presence of God, and I know I’m doing my best,” he said. “And I believe before God almighty to this we have been called, and here we stand.”

According to TIME, Mitchell’s congregation continues to shrink since he first made the announcement two years ago that he was going to open a listening period over the issue. Two years ago, GracePointe had an average of 800-1000 members in attendance, and after he announced full inclusion for homosexuals this month, attendance went down to 673. Last week, it stood at 482.

Country pop star Carrie Underwood, who attends GracePointe with her husband Mike Fisher, announced in 2012 during the same time that the congregational “conversation” was underway that she supported same-sex “marriage.”

“I definitely think we should all have the right to love—and love publicly—the people that we want to love,” she told The Independent. “It’s not about setting rules or [saying], ‘Everyone has to be like me.’ No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”

Video: Discussion begins at 44:00

- See more at: http://christiannews.net/2015/01/30/megachurch-leader-claims-divine-wind-moved-him-to-fully-accept-members-practicing-homosexuality/#sthash.17GLEenx.dpuf
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« Reply #102 on: February 03, 2015, 05:16:20 am »

Professor Says ‘Fear of Man, Not God’ Led Megachurch Leader to Accept Homosexual Members

A Christian theology professor says that it was the fear of man, not God that led a Tennessee megachurch minister to announce full acceptance of homosexuals in his congregation, including the allowance of those involved in sexual sin to serve in leadership roles and to “marry.”

“If you fear man, God will become small to you,” wrote Owen Strachan, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky. in a post on Friday. “The approval of fellow sinners will matter more to you than obeying God by the witness of His word.”

As previously reported, Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee, told reporters last week that God moved upon him three years ago to begin rethinking his position on inclusion in the congregation. Heretofore, GracePointe had allowed those who identify as homosexuals to attend the services, but drew the line at serving in leadership positions or being “married” by the leadership.

“We were thrust, I believe, by a divine wind, into a prayerful, painful, invigorating, careful and hopeful conversation regarding sexual orientation and gender identity,” he said, remarking that the “art of conversation … is a holy calling.”

According to reports, approximately 15 percent of the congregation at GracePointe identifies as homosexual. Nicole Pasulka of TakePart.com spoke to one of the members, Dale Wigden, who said that he joined the congregation out of his quest to find the answer to the question “Where is the place where I can be gay and Christian?”

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you are, you were born beloved by God,” he recalled GracePointe worship leader Melissa Greene, formerly of the Grammy nominated and Dove Award-winning group Avalon, telling those gathered. She made the comment during a hymn sing as she provided a disclaimer before singing “Amazing Grace,” explaining that she didn’t agree with the use of the word “wretch” in the song.

And because Wigden took from the leadership that God wasn’t out to punish him for his sins, he became “hooked on GracePointe.” He also “felt accepted and had plenty of friends in the congregation, even though he didn’t have equal rights there.”

But Mitchell, 46, said that some homosexuals left the congregation because they disagreed with GracePointe’s partial inclusion of homosexuals and one man specifically called him, accusing Mitchell of “betraying” him. Others left when he announced a time of listening over the issue because they were appalled that the matter needed to be discussed at all.

“We lost not only those who could bear the pain of partial inclusion no longer, we lost other brothers and sisters who were on the other side, who so deeply believed they knew God’s heart on this matter … as being opposed to any expression of mutual human sexuality other than theirs,” he stated before those gathered.

While knowing that he could further lose members over the issue, and expressing doubt over whether his decision was right, Mitchell announced last month that he was changing GracePointe’s policy to allow “full privileges of membership” to those practicing homosexuality.

“Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill, and willingness. That is expected of all,” Mitchell declared. “Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and to receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism, but child dedication and marriage.”

Greene told Take Part that she agreed with the decision.

“[It’s] God’s heart, as far as we can tell,” she said. “LGBT inclusion is the beautiful byproduct of what we believe the gospel says.”

But while some applauded GracePointe’s move, others have expressed disappointment and are hoping that Mitchell—who does not believe that homosexual behavior is a sin—will repent.

“The move that Mitchell is making is not a heroic one. It is a cowardly one,” Strachan wrote on Friday. “It doesn’t cause true believers any trepidation. It deserves no applause. It merits no commendation. This is a moment of shame for this pastor, not a moment of acclaim.”

He said that he believes many pastors today fear man more than God.

“Many professing evangelicals today have no appetite to honor the Lord. They recognize that the winds of culture are against them,” Strachan stated. “To the core of their being, they are afraid.”

“Are there any in the new Israel, the church, who will honor God? Are the pastors of God’s people boys, and not men? Will we defend the righteousness of God when Satan assails it?” he asked. “Or will we fall silent, grow fearful, and drown out our proclamation of the truth in a series of jokes, qualifications, and selective put-downs of David-like Christians?”

But Strachan also recognized that Christians do not war against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness. He said that his heart cry is for Mitchell’s eyes—and those like him—to be opened.

“I pray that Stan Mitchell … and other pastors and leaders out there who tremble before Goliath will be given eyes to see that they fear man, and not God,” Strachan said. “They are setting themselves and their congregations up for destruction. Gospel Christians do not cheer this downward spiral. We yearn for those who profess Christ to do the loving thing, which is to say, to repent and turn back to the obedience of faith.”

- See more at: http://christiannews.net/2015/02/02/professor-says-fear-of-man-not-god-led-megachurch-leader-to-accept-homosexual-members/#sthash.FWKheb2D.dpuf

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« Reply #103 on: February 12, 2015, 11:20:33 am »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/10/ellin-jimmerson-wedding-week_n_6653644.html
2/10/15
Baptist Pastor Officiates One Of Alabama's First Same-Sex Weddings

Ellin Jimmerson, a Baptist pastor in Huntsville, Alabama, said she was surprised when she was asked to perform one of Alabama's first same-sex wedding ceremonies after the state overturned its ban on gay marriage. Although she has been supportive of the LGBTQ community, she's best known for her immigration activism.

"I cannot get my head around what happened yesterday," Jimmerson, 63, told The Huffington Post over the phone on Tuesday. "It wasn't just a local story."

Monday marked the first day same-sex weddings were legal in Alabama. Despite a direct mandate from U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, many probate judges throughout the state refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“Now you’ve got a situation where you’ve got hundreds of people having no pastor to turn to to perform their wedding ceremony, nor can they go to the courthouse to get a license,” Jimmerson said.

A group of volunteers organized "Wedding Week," a movement to officiate and celebrate both same-sex and straight weddings, in response to these hurdles. For many couples -- about 42 on Monday alone, Jimmerson said -- this was a ticket to tying the knot.

The first couple scheduled to get married in Huntsville -- Adrian Thomas and Yashinari Effinger from Birmingham -- had requested a Baptist pastor to officiate their wedding. Heather Reed, a gay marriage advocate and one of the four Wedding Week organizers, looked for a Baptist pastor who would be willing to participate but found that many were uncomfortable agreeing to be in the public eye.

Jimmerson, who serves as minister to the community at Huntsville's Weatherly Heights Baptist Church but is not a paid staff member, agreed to participate in Wedding Week and quickly found herself the object of media attention.

“It’s been huge, and there’s been a lot of focus on me," Jimmerson said. "I’ve decided the formula for celebrity must be Alabama plus same-sex marriage plus Baptist minister with a photogenic rainbow scarf.”

The organizers also invited same-sex marriage supporters to get ordained online and come to Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville to officiate the weddings.

"It has been phenomenal, the amount the community has come together to make this happen," Reed told HuffPost. "Yesterday there were over 60 officiants present. Only a handful are actual members of the clergy. Most of them got ordained just for this event."

Others in the community donated wedding cakes, dresses, hair-styling services, flowers and more, Reed said. The Huntsville Embassy Suites donated its ballroom for a nominal cost for a reception Monday evening and a deejay offered his services as well.

For Reed, the state's reversal of the gay marriage ban came as a shock. Reed married her wife, who serves as an army chaplain, in Maine last year. They have two kids and live in Huntsville -- a fairly liberal city compared to the rest of Alabama, Reed said. Even so, they never expected to see same-sex marriages become legal in their community.

"This came out of left field for us," Reed said. "Never in a million years did we think this was going to happen."

In a 2014 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, 59 percent of Alabama residents said they opposed or strongly opposed same-sex marriage.

This degree of change can be unsettling for some, Jimmerson said. Opposition to many things in American history, such as interracial marriage, has been based in fear and discrimination, she said, adding that she thinks same-sex marriage will follow the same trajectory.

"For so long we thought of same-sex marriages as being a scandal, and then you add to that what people understand to be something called 'biblical marriage,'" Jimmerson said. "[But] our idea of one man one woman in a union based on love just doesn't appear in the Bible."

"I think we just have to realize that we are cultural beings as well as religious people and we have to learn to draw a distinction between what we're afraid of and insecure about and what God really demands of us -- which is to love one another," she said.
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« Reply #104 on: February 12, 2015, 11:23:32 am »

Quote
"I think we just have to realize that we are cultural beings as well as religious people and we have to learn to draw a distinction between what we're afraid of and insecure about and what God really demands of us -- which is to love one another," she said.

Uhm, NO...

1Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
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« Reply #105 on: February 20, 2015, 07:57:03 am »

Liberal pastors lobby for 'gay marriage' (sermon notes not subpoenaed)



A pro-traditional values organization in Texas suggests that pastors lobbying lawmakers are ignoring their own message about Christian influence over government.

A group of liberal pastors was at the Texas Capitol in Austin on Thursday, lobbying lawmakers to desert voters and legalize same-sex "marriage."

Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values says the group cries out for "equality," which he explains Texas has experienced by supposed equality ordinances.

"Pastors being persecuted, having their sermons subpoenaed," Saenz cites as examples, referring to the controversial decision by Houston's lesbian mayor to subpoena the sermon notes and personal communication of pastors in that city who objected to the city's LGBT-friendly ordinance.

Saenz, Jonathan (Texas Values)Saenz contends that "redefining marriage and sexuality" means men can use women's restrooms – an allowance under Houston's new ordinance – and he says it also means people of faith are required to decide between living out their beliefs in a business or being forced by government to shut their doors.

"What's equal about that?" he asks.

OneNewsNow reported this week that a Washington state florist, who refused to make flowers for a homosexual "wedding," was told by a judge that she is free to have religous beliefs but is not free to follow her beliefs in her business.

When Christians try to influence the legislature, notes the attorney, apparently liberal pastors object to that.

"This group of people, I've seen around the state a lot, and they are the ones crying out for separation of church and state," says Saenz. "But for some reason I guess it's okay for them to use their faith to advocate when it comes to liberal ideology."

“We believe that laws that protect LGBT people strengthen every Texas family, bring together our communities and protect rights in ways that are important to all of us,” the Eric Folkerth, a United Methodist Church pastor, said at the Capitol, The American-Statesman newspaper reported.

A pastor for a Presbyterian church claimed that the church has been "co-opted" and is being used for "political purposes," apparently referring to traditional religous beliefs, the newspaper story also reported.

Saenz says those liberal pastors ignore the fact that 76 percent of Texans voters defined in the state constitution marriage as one man/one woman, and 54,000 Houston voters signed a petition in an attempt to overturn that city's equal rights ordinance.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2015/02/20/liberal-pastors-lobby-for-gay-marriage-sermon-notes-not-subpoenaed#.VOc8iy5rWk4
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« Reply #106 on: February 27, 2015, 10:14:36 am »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/414398/wesleyan-now-offering-lgbttqqfagpbdsm-housing-not-typo-katherine-timpf
Wesleyan Now Offering LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM Housing (Not a Typo)
2/25/15

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, flexual, asexual...” Weslyan University in Connecticut is now offering “LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM” housing, because apparently “LGBT” — or even “LGBTTQQ” — wouldn’t have been inclusive enough. For the culturally ignorant among us, “LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM” stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, flexual, asexual, gender****, polyamorous, bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism.” The name of this super-inclusive, social-justice-hero of a dorm is “Open House,” and it is meant to be a “safe space” for self-identified LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM students, according to the university’s official website.

Of course, some students may feel their sexual orientation or gender identity is so unique that it could never fit into one of the 15 categories represented by those letters. So, in order to make sure no one ever feels discriminated against, ever, the webpage also clarifies that Open House is “for people of sexually or gender dissident communities” in general. “The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic,” the web page states. “Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.”
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« Reply #107 on: February 27, 2015, 09:09:27 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/south-carolina-college-comes-against-homosexuality-202835316.html
2/27/15
South Carolina college comes out against homosexuality
In 2014, two male student-athletes at Erskine College in South Carolina announced they are gay. Now, the small Christian school has issued a statement taking a stance against homosexuality.


Last year, two male volleyball players at Erskine College in Due West, S.C. went public with their homosexuality. The young men's admission was welcomed by their peers and teammates, who provided an encouraging atmosphere that felt like “family.”

Now, the Christian school has released a statement opposing homosexuality.
According to the school’s website, the Student Services and Athletic Committee submitted the statement, which was approved by the full board. The administration will determine how to integrate the new statement into campus culture and procedures and will add it to official manuals.

The statement comes as an effort to re-align the university’s mission with the teachings of the Bible, and guide the school in developing policies regarding the school’s stance on homosexuality.

How this decision will affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students who are currently part of the student body remains to be seen.

The announcement has already drawn attention to the small Christian liberal arts school, which has a student body of 575. Understanding the complexity and controversy of homosexuality from a religious standpoint, the school’s statement addresses concerns while still announcing its stance on homosexual behavior.

The statement, in part, reads:

Erskine recognizes the complexity of current issues regarding sexual morality, marriage, and other expressions of human sexuality such as same-sex attraction, gender identity, and sex outside the covenant of marriage. Therefore, the Erskine community is advised to practice humility and prayerfulness when engaging in any conversations or other actions related to these topics. Erskine’s conduct policies and procedures seek to uphold biblical standards, promote repentance and grace, and point people to Jesus Christ . . . We believe the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside the covenant of marriage is sinful and therefore ultimately destructive to the parties involved. As a Christian academic community, and in light of our institutional mission, members of the Erskine community are expected to follow the teachings of scripture concerning matters of human sexuality and institutional decisions will be made in light of this position.”

Students Drew Davis and Juan Varona publicly came out as gay last year in a profile featured on Outsports.com. The two individuals – who play Division II volleyball for the school – reported that while they were worried about how their orientation would be received, they were surprised at the outpouring of support from their friends and teammates.

"I was so happy for [Drew]," Michael Shneck, a volleyball team member, told Outsports. "Just finally being himself, being who he wants to be. It was cool to hear that he's so comfortable with himself that he could tell the rest of us who he really was."

Davis said his admission helped him gain confidence and feel more comfortable with himself.

"I've never had a team so close," Davis said. "They're like brothers to me. They are so accepting, and that has really made me more confident in myself."

Davis said that at the time, the only negative reaction he received was when his roommate moved out in fear that others would think he too was gay.

The volleyball coach also questioned the negative effect it would have on the team if Varona and Davis started dating and it ended on bad terms. Both players assured the coach there was no risk of such an interaction, so the team continued to move forward.

Last year, the volleyball team won its conference and was one of six teams to advance to the NCAA tournament, according to Sports Illustrated.

Erskine College is affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, who may have been pressuring the school to take a firmer stance on homosexuality on campus. Chuck Wilson, the editor of ARPTalk, accused the school of avoiding controversial topics such as sexual orientation and adultery, and questioned if the school's approach was to “look the other way.

“The problem at Erskine is this: not only do most of the folks on the administration, staff, and faculty not know how to deal with the sins of homosexuality; they do not know how to Biblically address the other sexual sins on the Biblical sin-list,” Mr. Wilson wrote on ARPTalk.org. “Other than hypocrisy, what is accomplished by a college calling itself ‘Christian’ and not teaching and expecting Christian behavior? And therein lies the problem at Erskine. The folks at Erskine talk about Erskine being a ‘gospel enterprise’; however, talk is all they do.”

With the college’s new stance on homosexuality, Varona said he is concerned about the implications it will have on others who may be struggling with their sexual identities.

"The release of this statement makes me disappointed because I have never received anything but kind treatment from everyone at this school, and my sexual orientation is no secret. So it took me by surprise, Varona told Outsports.com. “The school took several steps back instead of progressing towards a future where everyone can be treated as an equal, which is a future most of the country is moving towards.”

Varona continued to say that he understands the complexity of addressing homosexuality from a religious angle, but said this decision may not be the best way to go about it.

"I understand the religious stand on adultery, which is part of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, and that would apply to heterosexual and homosexual people,” Varona said. “t just made me sad and worried for other gay people who might be struggling with confidence to come out."
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« Reply #108 on: February 28, 2015, 07:37:54 am »

Pastor Says God Told Her to Appear on 'Sex Box' TV Show

wonder what god that was...  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

 An American pastor says she believes God has called her to appear on WE TV’s upcoming show “Sex Box.” Christian Today reports that Pastor Yvonne Capehart will appear on the show as an expert on relationships and intimacy.
 
“Sex Box” which first aired in the UK in 2013, will feature gay and straight couples, both married and unmarried, who will engage in sexual intercourse in an enclosed box on stage in front of a live audience. Couples then discuss their problems with intimacy with a panel of “sexperts.”
 
The “Sex Box” is opaque, soundproof and has no cameras.
 
Pastor Capehart, a couples’ counselor of 17 years said she rejected the offer to appear on the TV show three times before God spoke to her and told her to go on the show.
 
Capehart said, "...one thing about my life and one thing about God is He would push you to do some things that you probably think that you shouldn't do. I'm so glad because through prayer after I turned it down the third time, the Lord as He did many times in my life, with everything else in my life, instructed me that He had prepared me to do this. My presence would make a difference in being on the show.”
 
The pastor says that she will be able to give biblical advice to couples on “Sex Box.”
 
"I'm doing what I was called to do,” Capehart said. “I'm called and anointed...to speak to all people. I'm not just bound by the people that come to church. I'm called to speak to people whether they are in the church, out of the church or in the world.”

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/pastor-says-god-told-her-to-appear-on-sex-box-tv-show.html
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« Reply #109 on: February 28, 2015, 07:46:36 am »

Presbyterian Church May Soon Allow Gay Marriage through Constitutional Change

 The Presbyterian Church could be nearing a change in its constitution that would bless gay marriage. The church’s General Assembly voted to accept gay marriage last June; the motion now must be passed by 172 presbyteries to change the church’s stance on gay marriage.
 
Christian Today reports that the vote has been completed by 40 percent of the church’s governing region so far. 51 presbyteries voted in favor of gay marriage acceptance while 23 voted against the constitution change.
 
If passed, the Presbyterian Church’s constitution would claim that marriage is a "unique commitment between two people.” It currently reads that marriage is a “unique commitment between and man and a woman.”
 
Some Presbyterian pastors have already been granted permission to preside over same-sex marriages in states where the practice is legal.
 
The Presbyterian Church voted to ordain homosexuals four years ago in a close vote.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/presbyterian-church-may-soon-allow-gay-marriage-through-constitutional-change.html
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« Reply #110 on: March 11, 2015, 04:21:35 pm »

Included in a Christian College President’s Explanation for Inviting Lesbian Pastor to Speak Is a Very Controversial Claim About Christianity

Christian college officials are defending their school’s controversial decision to invite a lesbian faith leader to lecture students this month, claiming that they have no plans to reconsider the invitation and that people cannot be “guided and dictated by a first-century worldview.”

Bishop Yvette Flunder of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California, is expected to speak at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 18, as part of the school’s Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Series, a conference that focuses on Christian leadership.

Richard E. Jackson, vice president for administration, finance and legal affairs, told the Christian Post that Flunder — who is married to Shirley Miller — will be welcomed to speak, despite controversy and protests from some Christian clergy who disagree with the school’s decision.

“The reaction I have gotten is ‘what’s the controversy, what’s the big deal?’ You all are an educational institution,” Jackson told the outlet, adding that it is important for critics to consider that Flunder will be speaking mostly about her ministry to people with HIV and AIDS.

“I think that is completely compatible and consistent with the belief and philosophy of Christian people and Christian institutions to care for the least of us in any given society,” he said.

Forrest Harris, the school’s president, reflected similar sentiment, telling the Tennessean that he finds it “sad that people use religion and idolatry of the Bible to demoralize same-gender-loving people.”

When asked to explain what he meant by “idolatry of the Bible,” Harris offered up a definition that will surely have some Christians up in arms.

“When people say [the Bible] is synonymous with God and the truth,” he said. “We can’t be guided and dictated by a first-century worldview.”

See Flunder defending same-sex marriage below:

The event that Flunder is speaking at has been promoted by the National Baptist Convention, the largest denomination comprised of African American Christians in the U.S., though another group affiliated with the sect has expressed disagreement, according to the Tennessean.

The National Baptist Fellowship of Concerned Pastors, a group of conservative preachers, has launched a petition against the invitation.

“We believe that President Forrest Harris should rescind the invitation for Bishop Yvette Flunder to speak at ABC, solely on the basis that she is a proud, practicing, and public advocate of same-sex marriage,” the petition explanation reads. “We are also requesting that in the future, no male or female involved in a same-sex marriage be invited to speak at ABC.”

In a separate press release, the National Baptist Fellowship of Concerned Pastors said that it is “irresponsible, scandalous, non-biblical, and certainly displeasing to God” that a lesbian faith leader has been invited to speak at American Baptist College.

As for these critics who are vocally protesting the American Baptist College’s decision to host Flunder, Jackson said that he believes colleges can host speakers who come to address pointed and important topics without being forced to express support for ”any particular viewpoint.”

The school continues to double down, posting letters of support for Flunder’s speech that were sent by other faith leaders.

Read more about the controversy here.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/11/included-in-a-christian-college-presidents-explanation-for-inviting-lesbian-pastor-to-speak-is-a-very-controversial-claim-about-christianity/
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« Reply #111 on: March 17, 2015, 08:32:34 pm »

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/us/presbyterians-give-final-approval-for-same-sex-marriage.html?referrer=&_r=0
3/17/15
Largest Presbyterian Denomination Gives Final Approval for Same-Sex Marriage

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
MARCH 17, 2015
After three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Tuesday to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage.

The final approval by a majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies, known as presbyteries, enshrines a change recommended last year by the church’s General Assembly. The vote amends the church’s constitution to broaden marriage from being between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

The Presbytery of the Palisades, meeting in Fair Lawn, N.J., put the ratification count over the top on Tuesday on a voice vote. With many presbyteries still left to vote, the tally early Tuesday evening stood at 86 presbyteries in favor and 41 against and one tied.

“Finally, the church in its constitutional documents fully recognizes that the love of gays and LESBIAN couples is worth celebrating in the faith community,” said the Rev. Brian D. Ellison, executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, which advocates gay inclusion in the church. “There is still disagreement, and I don’t mean to minimize that, but I think we are learning that we can disagree and still be church together.”

The church, with about 1.8 million members, is the largest of the nation’s Presbyterian denominations, but it has been losing congregations and individual members as it has moved to the left theologically over the past several years. There was a wave of departures in and after 2011, when the presbyteries ratified a decision to ordain gays and LESBIANS as pastors, elders and deacons, and that may have cleared the way for Tuesday’s vote.

With many conservative Presbyterians who were active in the church now gone, as well as the larger cultural shift toward acceptance of same-sex marriage, the decisive vote moved quickly toward approval, according to those on both sides of the divide.

Plenty of moderates and conservatives, however, have chosen to stay within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), one of the nation’s historic mainline Protestant denominations, which has its headquarters in Louisville, Ky. Ministers who object will not be required to perform a same-sex marriage.

Paul Detterman, national director of The Fellowship Community, a group of conservatives who have stayed in the church, said: “Our objection to the passage of the marriage amendment is in no way, shape or form anti-gay. It is in no way intended as anything but concern that the church is capitulating to the culture and is misrepresenting the message of Scripture.”

He added, “We definitely will see another wave, a sizable wave, of conservative folks leaving,” but said he and others were staying because “this conversation is dreadfully important to be a part of.”

Other religious denominations that have officially decided to permit their clergy to perform same-sex marriages include the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Quakers, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Churches and, in Judaism, the Reform and Conservative movements. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America left it open for individual ministers to decide.

“I don’t see any further large mainline denominations making the same move,” said Alan Wisdom, a Presbyterian and the interim editor of Theology Matters, a journal for conservative Protestants.

The United Methodist Church, with about 5.5 million members, has been debating same-sex marriage for years, but it includes a growing membership in Africa, where there is little acceptance of gay relationships.

The Presbyterians’ decision on Tuesday will put an end to the ecclesiastical prosecutions and convictions in the last few decades of ministers who broke church law by conducting same-sex marriages.

“Some of us are calling it liberation day,” said the Rev. William Blake Spencer, pastor of Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., who is gay and voted with his presbytery on Tuesday. “It will be the last L.G.B.T.Q. issue that we debate and fight about, and finally our welcome comes without a ‘but’ or an ‘if.’”
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« Reply #112 on: March 22, 2015, 02:37:17 pm »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/22/mainline-protestants-gay-marriage_n_6901430.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
3/22/15
Most American Mainline Protestants Embrace Gay Marriage

(RNS) With the largest Presbyterian denomination’s official endorsement Tuesday (March 17), American mainline Protestants have solidified their support for gay marriage, leaving the largest mainline denomination — the United Methodist Church — outside the same-sex marriage fold.

Methodists, with more than 7 million members, rejected same-sex marriage at their last national conference, in 2012. They are likely to revisit the question at their next conference, in 2016, but a growing membership in Africa, where there is little acceptance of homosexuality, makes it unlikely the denomination will accept gay marriage.

Another denomination generally considered mainline, the American Baptist Churches USA, does not allow same-sex marriage, nor do a handful of smaller mainline denominations. But the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and now the Presbyterian Church (USA) sanctify the marriage of two men or two women. The 3.8 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gives congregations the autonomy to decide for themselves.

“There is no group that has moved more quickly or more dramatically on this issue than white mainline Protestants,” said Dan Cox, research director of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit that studies trends in American religion.

In 2003, 36 percent of white mainline Protestants supported gay marriage, compared with 62 percent in 2014, Cox said.


And though there is not one Protestant on the Supreme Court, the fact that an increasing number of the nation’s churches are inviting gay couples to the altar is likely to weigh on the justices as they consider upcoming cases that would allow them to make gay marriage a right.

Cox notes that among white mainline Protestants, Presbyterians and Methodists in the pews hold strikingly similar views on gay marriage. In that same 2014 PRRI survey, 69 percent of Presbyterians approved of same-sex marriage, while 67 percent of U.S. Methodists did.

“Support for gay marriage in these denominational families is quite strong,” Cox said. “It’s hard to say the churches are actually leading on this issue. They are reflecting where their followers already are.”

The Rev. Jeremy Smith, minister of discipleship at First United Methodist Church in Portland, Ore., said the Presbyterian vote reminds Methodists to ask themselves why their own doctrine is the way it is.

“Why is this still on the books?” he said. “In the Methodist Church we have been behind the culture.”

The majority of church-affiliated Americans belong to denominations that forbid gay marriage, including Roman Catholics, most Baptists, Pentecostals, evangelicals and Mormons.

Mainline Protestants, once the majority in America, have lost ground in recent decades to other denominations and to independent churches.

This week’s Presbyterian Church vote was long expected after 61 percent of General Assembly delegates voted in June to allow gay and lesbian weddings. That made the 1.8 million-member PCUSA among the largest Christian denominations to take an embracing step toward same-sex marriage.

But the change did not become church law until a majority of the 171 regional presbyteries, or geographic regions, voted to ratify the new language. The threshold was reached Tuesday when the Palisades Presbytery in New Jersey became the 86th to approve a change in the denomination’s constitution making marriage a commitment “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
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« Reply #113 on: March 22, 2015, 02:47:26 pm »

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/22/for-christians-and-gay-marriage-it-s-culture-not-doctrine.html
3/22/15
For Christians and Gay Marriage, It's Culture, not Doctrine

Mainline Protestant denominations have shifted not just what Americans think about LGBT people, but how they think about them. One veteran activist reflects on the changes.

What a difference a decade makes. Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) became the latest Christian denomination to affirm marriage equality, after a ratification vote in the Palisades presbytery on Tuesday night pushed the number of affirming presbyteries over 51 percent—thus making marriage equality official doctrine. With this move, the PC (USA) joins the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, Conservative and Reform Judaism, Quakers, and Unitarian Universalists in affirming and supporting LGBT people.

The Presbyterians bring us ever closer to the tipping point of a majority of mainline Christian churches affirming LGBT people, including marriage equality. In fact, even those denominations that have not affirmed marriage equality all have strong, vocal minorities, advocating for change within them. But while observers might be asking themselves “Who’s next?” the changes to come will likely be more cultural than doctrinal.

The United Methodist Church is the only major mainline church left that could vote for marriage equality. They will CONTINUE to struggle to do so, however, since their voting delegation is global, with an increasing percentage of delegates coming from countries that have yet to affirm the existence of LGBT people, much less marriage equality.

That means major American churches yet to affirm marriage equality are likely to do it more through cultural change within the denomination than by formal vote. Despite the Southern Baptist Convention being so large (and conservative), the major decision making happens on a church-by-church basis. Evangelicals have even less centralized structure, so change is also going to come person-to-person, and church-by-church. That will take more time, but likely make the change stronger and more permanent.

On the flip side, we see the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchical structure, meaning that any change is going to come from the top down. While it seems unlikely that the Roman Catholic hierarchy is going to change its views on marriage equality anytime soon (despite quotes from Pope Francis like “Who am I to judge?”), a majority of Catholic lay people in the United States support marriage equality meaning that the changing of HEARTS and minds has already happened. The hierarchy is out of step with what everyday Catholics believe.

Hardly any of this religious support for marriage equality was even imaginable a mere 15 years ago. I remember working in the movement to make the Lutheran Church more affirming to LGBT people. In 2001, the focus was on allowing LGBT clergy to serve openly. Marriage equality was not yet on anyone’s radar. In the church’s tradition of “prayerfully considering” controversial issues, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America created a study on human sexuality. What was initially established as a four-year study stretched into eight years of conversation, Bible study, prayer, and incremental votes that moved the church into a place where, finally in 2009, it was ready to affirm not only committed, life-long same-gender relationships, but also clergy who were in such relationships.

Likewise, in 2003 when former Bishop Gene Robinson was consecrated as the first openly gay bishop in any mainstream denomination, no state had marriage equality. The unprecedented election of someone who was openly LGBT was a huge deal, and caused him to face international rejection from many. Eventually, though, Robinson became the Ellen Degeneres of faith leaders, ushering in more openly LGBT leaders, and making the issue much less contentious over his tenure as bishop.

Since then, the country has experienced incremental steps backward and forward in regards to marriage equality. Today, as we witness the Supreme Court potentially strike down the few remaining state bans on marriage equality, nearly 2,000 faith leaders from all 50 states signed a brief that argues that the freedom to marry will, in fact, affirm religious liberty in the United States.

Churches have had a part in making that shift in society not just substantively, but stylistically—in terms of how change has taken place. When I was advocating for LGBT equality in the Lutheran church, we spent considerable time and energy investing in relationships with one another. We listened to their hopes and fears, we told stories of our own lives, and we talked about our future together as a church. When it came time to vote for further LGBT inclusion, people weren’t voting on an idea; they were voting on the relationships that had been built, and on a shared vision of how we could all be a church together.

That same principle applies in our society as well. People support marriage equality because they have seen that it provides the basic protections for their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. They support it because they have invested in relationships with LGBT people to learn about their lives. The converse is true, where those personal, even spiritual, relationships are absent, we see LGBT people’s livelihoods threatened by backlash: religious exemptions that roll back protections, denial of benefits to married couples, and so on.

Yet even within churches that still reject LGBT people, HEARTS and minds in the pews are starting to change faster than church policies or the preaching coming from the pulpit. That is because people in the pews are listening to that preaching while thinking about their friends, family, and neighbors who are LGBT and living full, productive lives.

No matter how the Supreme Court rules, the trend of Christianity increasingly affirming LGBT people, their lives, and their relationships will CONTINUE. That will continue to happen because LGBT people and their allies of all faiths will continue to share their lives and accelerate acceptance among their friends and family, leading America to a place of LGBT acceptance.

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

2 Corinthians 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
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« Reply #114 on: March 25, 2015, 08:07:00 pm »

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/03/25/3638998/christian-group-threatens-boycott-indiana-governor-signs-anti-lgbt-religious-liberty-bill/
3/25/15
Christian Group Is Ready To Boycott Indiana If Governor Signs ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill

A Christian denomination with historic ties to Indiana is threatening to boycott the Hoosier state if the governor approves an exclusionary “religious liberty” bill, the latest in a growing wave of criticism over legislation that could be used to discriminate against LGBT people.

On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Indiana legislature overwhelmingly approved a controversial bill that supporters say is designed to protect religious liberty in the state. But LGBT advocates have opposed the legislation, noting that while it is modeled after the federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA), it grants individuals the power to use religion as a legal defense even if the state is not involved in a case. This allows business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples simply by citing their religious beliefs, something Indiana conservatives have openly admitted is one of the bill’s intended goals.

Indiana Governor Michael Pence (R) said he is “looking forward” to signing the bill into law, but on Wednesday, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) — or “DoC” denomination, which claims around 659,000 members in North America and has been headquartered in Indianapolis for almost 100 years — sent a letter to Pence asking him to reconsider. The group threatened to relocate its general conference, which is scheduled to bring around 6,000 people to Indianapolis in 2017, if the state-level RFRA is approved.

“…The recent passage in the state legislature of the RFRA bill is distressing to us,” the letter read. “It is causing us to reconsider our decision to hold our 2017 gathering in Indianapolis.”

The denomination’s letter, signed by DoC General Minister and President Rev. Sharon E. Watkins and other officers of the church, went on to articulate a scathing assessment of the bill’s discriminatory implications:

Purportedly a matter of religious freedom, we find RFRA contrary to the values of our faith – as well as to our national and Hoosier values. Our nation and state are strong when we welcome people of many backgrounds and points of view. The free and robust exchange of ideas is part of what makes our democracy great … Our members and assembly-goers are of different races and ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientations. They have in common that they love Jesus and seek to follow him.

We are particularly distressed at the thought that, should RFRA be signed into law, some of our members and friends might not be welcome in Indiana businesses – might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race.

Todd Adams, Associate General Minister and Vice President of the DoC, told ThinkProgress the legislation would also pose very real “talent pool and employment issues” for local businesses as well as Indiana-based offices of the church.

“Any time you have laws that basically are permitting bigotry and hatred and wrapping it in the cloak of religious freedom, you are potentially excluding people who would want to come [to Indiana] and work for you,” Adams said.

The church officials concluded their letter with a plea asking the governor to take action, telling him “we urge you to veto the bill.”

The DoC’s letter is part of a groundswell of opposition to Indiana’s version of RFRA. Organizers of Gen Con, one of the world’s largest video game conventions, have threatened to relocate their annual event — which they say has a $50 million impact on Indianapolis each year — to another state if the measure is approved. Large Indiana-based employers such as Cummins, Salesforce, and Eskenazi Health have also decried the proposed legislation, as has former “Star Trek” star and LGBT advocate George Takei, who called the bill “backward-looking and divisive.”

Public pressure has successfully defeated state-level RFRA legislation in the past. When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) was primed to sign a similar “religious liberty” bill into law in 2014, large businesses such as Apple, Intel, AT&T and American Airlines spoke out against the measure, and the NFL threatened to relocate the Super Bowl if it was approved. The advocacy, combined with vocal opposition to the bill from conservative lawmakers such as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), ultimately pushed Brewer to veto the bill.
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« Reply #115 on: March 26, 2015, 11:10:53 pm »

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« Reply #116 on: March 28, 2015, 05:43:25 am »

34,000 Black Churches Break Ties With Presbyterian Church USA

The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African-Americans, has broken its fellowship with Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) following its recent vote to approve same-sex marriage. 

The Presbyterian General Assembly, the top legislative body of the PCUSA, voted last June to revise the constitutional language defining marriage. This arbitrary change of Holy Scripture is a flagrantly pretentious and illegitimate maneuver by a body that has no authority whatsoever to alter holy text.   

Rev. Anthony Evans, NBCI President noted:

"NBCI and its membership base are simply standing on the Word of God within the mind of Christ. We urge our brother and sisters of the PCUSA to repent and be restored to fellowship."

"PCUSA's manipulation represents a universal sin against the entire church and its members. With this action, PCUSA can no longer base its teachings on 2,000 years of Christian scripture and tradition, and call itself a Christian entity in the body of Christ.  It has forsaken its right by this single wrong act. 

"Apostle Paul warns us about this when he declared in Galatians 1:8 that there are those who will preach another gospel.

"For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. ... For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

"No church has the right to change the Word of God. By voting to redefine marriage PCUSA automatically forfeits Christ's saving grace. There is always redemption in the body of Christ through confession of faith and adhering to Holy Scripture.   

"In this case, PCUSA deliberately voted to change the Word of God and the interpretation of holy marriage between one man and one woman. This is why we must break fellowship with them and urge the entire Christendom to do so as well."

http://www.charismanews.com/us/48944-34-000-black-churches-break-ties-with-presbyterian-church-usa
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« Reply #117 on: April 08, 2015, 01:31:12 pm »

http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2015/04/08/the-new-york-times-wants-us-to-rewrite-the-bible-n1982004
4/8/15
The New York Times Wants Us to Rewrite the Bible

How can the religious community live in peace and harmony with the LGBT community? New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has the solution. Just rewrite the Bible.

In his April 3rd column, “Bigotry, the Bible and the Lessons of Indiana,” Bruni, himself gay, recognizes that Christian beliefs are not necessarily grounded in hatred. The problem, he claims, is that, “Beliefs ossified over centuries aren’t easily shaken.

Bruni, for his part, wants to shake us free from our fossilized faith.

According to Bruni, who evidences little or no understanding of how believers view the Scriptures (namely, as God’s inspired Word), if we hold to the view that homosexual practice is sinful, this is our “decision” and “choice.”

So, ironically, whereas homosexuality was once considered a choice, now what we believe about homosexuality is a choice.

After all, he argues, the belief that homosexual practice is sinful “prioritizes scattered passages of ancient texts over all that has been learned since — as if time had stood still, as if the advances of science and knowledge meant nothing.”

So, Bruni thinks he can simply dismiss the Scriptures as “ancient texts,” explaining that “all writings reflect the biases and blind spots of their authors, cultures and eras.”

But for devout Jews and Christians, the Scriptures are not just any writings, full of biases and blind spots.

If that was the case, there would be no basis for our faith whatsoever and no absolute moral foundations of any kind.

Forget about homosexuality. We would have no reason to hold to any of the fundamentals of our faith if Bruni’s description was accurate.

Not only so, but Bruni wrongly claims that for those of us who hold to the authority of the Bible, “the advances of science and knowledge” mean “nothing.”

To the contrary, all the scientific advances in the world cannot determine what is or is not moral, and there’s nothing we know today that changes our view that God did not design men to be with men and women to be with women. The new interpretations of Scripture that the “progressive” Christians are touting (and which Bruni applauds) are not based on new textual or archeological or linguistic discoveries. They are based primarily on emotional arguments, since there is nothing in the Bible that supports homosexual practice.

Bruni also repeats the common misconception that there are just a handful of “scattered” texts that deal with homosexual practice.

To the contrary, every law dealing with marriage and family, every positive example and precept, every illustration in the Bible about sexuality morality is based on heterosexual relationships (see, for example, Genesis 2:24; Exodus 20:12; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-33).

That’s why there was not a need to condemn homosexual practice on every page. Everything in Scripture was against it. (To be perfectly clear, the Bible plainly teaches that God loves every human being, that all of us are fallen and in need of redemption, and that Jesus died for heterosexual and homosexual alike. The issue here is the meaning of marriage and the standard of sexual morality.)

Bruni cannot countenance this for a moment. Instead, he claims that our biblically-based faith “elevates unthinking obeisance above intelligent observance,” which is why “our debate about religious freedom should include a conversation about freeing religions and religious people from prejudices that they needn’t cling to and can indeed jettison, much as they’ve jettisoned other aspects of their faith’s history, rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity.”

So, those of us who hold to biblical morality are “unthinking” and “prejudiced” people who need to be “freed” from our antiquated beliefs.

It’s high time, Bruni opines, for us to catch up with the 21st century. How utterly primitive of us to believe that there’s anything wrong with homosexual relationships or acts!

Bruni, however, sees positive trends, pointing to a number of books by Christian authors who advocate a reinterpretation of the Bible, claiming that we have outgrown other biblically-based views over time, like the justification of slavery or the nature of gender roles.

The truth is that the Bible was misused to justify slavery, segregation, and the oppression of women whereas it is rightly used to condemn homosexual practice. (For a relevant lecture, see here.)

Bruni cites with approval a QUOTE from Mitchell Gold, a furniture maker and gay philanthropist who says that “church leaders must be made ‘to take homosexuality off the sin list.’”

And Bruni means it when he says “made to” – as in pressured to or forced to or coerced to. As he writes at the end of his column, “His [namely, Gold’s] commandment is worthy — and warranted. All of us, no matter our religious traditions, should know better than to tell gay people that they’re an offense. And that’s precisely what the florists and bakers who want to turn them away are saying to them.” (Of course, Bruni misrepresents the positions of these Christian business owners as well, but why deal with truth when caricature is so much more effective?)


So, rather than follow the biblical commandments, which are explicit and unambiguous when it comes to both the heterosexual nature of marriage (“from the beginning,” as Jesus said) and the sinfulness of homosexual practice, we should follow the new “commandment” of Bruni and Gold and simply rewrite the Bible.

Well, here’s a note to Mr. Bruni and the New York Times: A billion years from now, when the names of Frank Bruni and Mitchell Gold and the Times itself are long forgotten, the words of God will still stand (Isaiah 40:7-8; Matthew 24:35), and those florists and bakers whom you ridicule in this world will be highly esteemed in the world to come.

The fact is that churches and denominations and religious groups may come and go, but the Word of God is here to stay.

We do not sit in judgment on the Scriptures; the Scriptures sit in judgment of us. And while they call us to love our neighbors as ourselves, they also forbid homosexual practice.

That is not about to change.

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« Reply #118 on: April 09, 2015, 07:07:41 pm »

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2015/April08/085.html
CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS Could Be Forced To Promote Gay Relationships
4/8/15

Schools should be forced to promote gay relationships in sex EDUCATION lessons, union leaders say.

The National Union of Teachers has called for a ‘positive portrayal of same sex relationships’ in lessons to be made ‘compulsory’ under the next government.

It said MPs had a duty to tackle ‘homophobia, biphobia and transphobia’ in schools and create a ‘positive climate of understanding about sexuality’.

But critics accused the NUT of ‘thought control’ and said the ‘intolerant’ proposals risked ‘oversexualising’ children at a young age.

Meanwhile, Christian groups warned it would compel teachers at faith schools to act against their beliefs.

However, the union said the changes were needed to tackle prejudice which was ‘still strongly prevalent in our schools’.

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: ‘This motion is itself an act of intolerance towards mainstream Christians and their beliefs. It would force Christian teachers to have to CHOOSE between their faith and their job.

‘I wonder whether Christian members of the NUT who have paid their dues can expect any help from the NUT when their jobs are on the line.’

He added that Church schools already teach ‘love and tolerance’ of others without having to explicitly approve of same sex relationships.

The proposal was contained in a motion on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights passed by the NUT at its annual conference in Harrogate yesterday.

It stated: ‘Conference INSTRUCTS the executive to call upon the present and future government to … make it compulsory that all schools’ sex education policies include a positive portrayal of same sex relationships.’

Other proposals included promoting LGBT HISTORY Month – which celebrates gay and transgender rights movements – in every school.

The motion also advocated supporting transgender students and staff ‘while transitioning and after’.

Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary, said: ‘We need education policy that develops CURRICULUM for children and young people that supports the democratic values of a diverse Britain – including LGBT equality.’

The law would also see teachers at Muslim and Jewish schools compelled to promote gay marriage and other issues that go against their beliefs.

The proposal comes amid a row over the government’s new REQUIREMENT for schools to teach ‘fundamental British values’, which include tolerance of other faiths and lifestyles.

CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS have complained they were branded ‘intolerant’ and marked down by Ofsted after children were asked about gays and lesbians.

Durham Free School is set to CLOSE after inspectors branded it an educational failure and said some children displayed ‘discriminatory’ views towards people of other faiths.

Meanwhile, Grindon Hall CHRISTIAN SCHOOL in Sunderland was put in special measures after failing to meet Ofsted’s British values criteria. Inspectors were said to have asked pupils if they knew what lesbians ‘did’ and if any of their friends felt trapped in the ‘wrong body’.

The drive was formed in response to the Trojan Horse scandal in which Muslim hardliners allegedly tried to impose an Islamic agenda on schools in Birmingham.

The NUT motion RENEWED fears teachers would be required to go beyond their remit in tackling such a sensitive subject.

Andrea Williams from Christian Concern said: ‘This kind of policy is dangerous for our children who are being oversexualised at a very young age.

‘They are being introduced to concepts and having normalised same sex relationships which robs them of their innocence and is not good for their emotional and moral wellbeing.’

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘The rights of groups who oppose gay marriage on sincere religious grounds should be respected as much as those who support gay marriage. Thought control should not be promoted by the NUT.’

A Church of England spokesman said it is ‘fully committed to sex and relationship education that allows room for exploration and discussion of relationships, within a framework of Christian values’.

Sex and relationships education is mandatory for pupils at council-run secondary schools. It is also compulsory for children aged between five and 14 at council-run schools to learn about sex as part of the science CURRICULUM

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« Reply #119 on: May 01, 2015, 12:16:08 am »

http://www.christianpost.com/news/supreme-court-gay-marriage-ruling-could-create-religious-liberty-issues-for-christian-schools-charities-obamas-lawyer-admits-138417/
Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling Could Create Religious Liberty Issues For Christian Schools, Charities, Obama's Lawyer Admits
4/29/15

WASHINGTON — The lead attorney representing the Obama administration admitted before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday that if the court were to rule in favor of making same-sex marriage a constitutional right, it would create a religious liberty "issue" for faith-based schools and institutions, who could be at risk of losing their tax-exempt statuses.

As the Supreme Court listened to oral arguments regarding whether the 14th Amendment requires states to issue same-sex marriage licenses, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli tried to dodge a question from Chief Justice John Roberts, who asked him whether or not religious schools which have married housing would be required to provide housing to same-­sex married couples.

The solicitor general, which is the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department and is appointed to speak on behalf of the Obama administration in court cases, provided a winded answer to Roberts about how it is the states that are responsible for setting their civil laws.

Roberts continued prodding Verrilli by saying that even though states set their laws, the federal government has "enforcement power," which Verrilli admitted was true but reasoned that there is no federal law "now" that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Justice Samuel Alito followed up and asked a pointed question regarding whether religious schools could have their tax-exempt status revoked for not providing same-sex couples with housing. Alito referenced the 1983 Bob Jones University Supreme Court case, which ruled that the Internal Revenue Service could revoke the school's tax-exempt status for refusing to accommodate interracial married couples with housing.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Says Definition of Marriage as One Man-One Woman Has 'Been With Us for Millennia'

"So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same­-sex marriage?" Alito asked.

It was clear that Verrilli did not want to answer that question but offered an offhand remark assuring that a ruling in favor of gay marriage would create some issues.

"You know, I don't think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics but it's certainly going to be an issue," Verrilli stated. "I ­­ I don't deny that. I don't deny that, Justice Alito. It is, it is going to be an issue."


Speaking at a Heritage Foundation panel on Wednesday, which discussed Tuesday's oral arguments, Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network, explained that Verrilli's answer indicates that the Obama administration is looking to "preserve the ability to remove tax-exempt status from institutions, like religious universities."

"What this exchange shows is that the administration wants to leave the door wide open to do [removing tax-exempt statuses]," Severino told The Christian Post after the panel. "Not that they could really be bound, necessarily, by the statements here but the solicitor general does not want to, even in furtherance of winning this case, because him saying 'Don't worry, that won't happen,' that would actually help him in this case. Even though that would help his case, he said, 'I am not going to say that. We are not going to go there.'"

"Frankly his answer to Chief Justice Roberts a minute earlier more or less admitted that the federal government could say this case could force a religious college to open its married housing to a married same-sex couple if they were married under laws of the state," Severino added.

Severino also explained that such a ruling in favor of constitutional gay marriage would create a "head-on collision" with religious expression.

"That ought to give a lot of people cause to say that this is an absolute head-on collision potentially with religious liberty because the arguments that are being made on the other side are so extreme here," Severino stated.


Severino reasoned that if such a ruling could cause tax-exempt status issues for Christian universities and schools, it could also present religious freedom conflict for faith-based charities and other organizations also.

"There isn't any reason to say that it clearly wouldn't extend to charitable organizations, potentially even to removing tax-exempt status from a house of worship, which is a slightly different argument but I can see people trying to make that argument," Severino asserted. "Taking the tax-exempt status thing would be a gigantic step and a very serious blow to a lot of institutions, all sorts of charitable institutions that are run by religious organizations from Salvation Army on down."

"Just imagine if all of those groups were not tax-exempt anymore and what impact that would have on their ability to serve the poor the way they are attempting to do and live out their faith," she continued.

Severino expects that the potential for conflict with religious liberty will somehow weigh into the case's outcome even if the court decides to constitutionalize gay marriage.

"Those potential collisions were brought out and will affect the way the justices decide this case because I think that Justice [Anthony] Kennedy is not going to want to have that kind of collision with religious liberty, and any of the justices ought to be concerned with the potential of further limiting the religious liberty at this point," she said. "Perhaps, even if it doesn't mean that is going to affect the outcome entirely, it may affect the way that the opinion is written in a way to have less of a risk to steamroll religious freedom."
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