If young adults do not hear about sex and sexuality in the church, they will hear about it somewhere. The worst thing that the church can do is to ignore the topic.
As an undergraduate at a men's college, I am constantly bombarded with the culture's view on sex. Guys see how many times a week they can "score" as though sex were a sport and women the ball being tossed around. Once, a drunken classmate of mine, walking toward his room with a girl he had just met at a party, told me, "Don't worry, bud. You'll get there one day." The implication, of course, was that I would one day have the exciting opportunity to "hook up" with a stranger.
Sadly, in spite of my Christian upbringing, no one ever told me what was wrong with the hook up culture. In fact, sex before marriage was encouraged by much of my Christian family and by the unanimous agreement of my Christian friends, who both mentioned preventing unwanted pregnancies, but never voiced the option of abstinence. What is worse, I never heard about the topic of sex in church. It was not until my involvement with a Christian campus ministry that I heard someone speak against premarital sex using biblical teaching. more >>
As more and more people around the world are "summoning" a "Mexican demon" by participating in the newest social media craze, the "Charlie Charlie Challenge," renowned televangelist Pat Robertson warned on Friday that Demons are not something people want to mess around with.
In a special segment on Friday's 700 Club program, the 85-year-old Robertson asserted that demons are real and should not be summoned by playing little-kid games, like the "Charlie Charlie Challenge."
"Folks, like it or not, demons are real; they are not the figments of imagination. They are not playthings and they are certainly not parlor games," Robertson stated. "There are demons. Jesus dealt with demons. There were demons at the very beginning when Satan carried one-third of the angels away in rebellion and they are disembodied spirits that are looking to possess people." more >>
The Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham has responded to separate claims by two former Christian NASA astronauts who said that it is possible for believers to accept science and evolution and the idea that the universe is several billions of years old, by arguing that such beliefs go against the Bible.
Ham argued in a blog post on Answers in Genesis that such scientists "are ignoring many theological and scientific problems — and once again are confusing observational science and historical science."
Ham responded to two articles — one from May, in which Leslie Wickman, a scientist and former astronaut who once served as a Hubble Space Telescope engineer, argued that science and religion are not incompatible. more >>
A group of female priests within the Church of England is calling for more gender-neutral language to be used when referring to God in church services, in what it says is a campaign for equality between men and women in the church.
"Orthodox theology says all human beings are made in the image of God, that God does not have a gender. He encompasses gender — He is both male and female and beyond male and female. So when we only speak of God in the male form, that's actually giving us a deficient understanding of who God is," said Rev. Jody Stowell, a member of Women and the Church group, according to The Guardian.
The Rev. Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College Oxford and a member of WATCH, added that both male and female language should be used in church services, in order to distance the church from "the notion that God is some kind of old man in the sky." more >>
This week Nebraska's legislature overrode its governor's veto of a bill to end the death penalty in Nebraska. Nebraska is the nineteenth US state to ban the death penalty. The editorial board of The New York Times celebrated this decision writing, "But the death penalty has never been about protecting public safety, only exacting hollow vengeance….The Nebraska vote… is an acknowledgment by reasonable people of all political ideologies that capital punishment is an abhorrent and indefensible practice. If that realization can happen in the deep-red heart of America, it can happen anywhere." Mainline Protestant churches, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Orthodox Church in America, and many self-identified evangelicals oppose the death penalty.
Some Christians argue that the inherent dignity of the human person precludes the death penalty; others argue that Christians are called to forgiveness, not vengeance, and that the death penalty attempts to solve vengeance with vengeance. These claims can be easily dismissed by a cursory glance at relevant texts of Scripture and the logical distinction between Christian persons and the office of the magistrate. Indeed, God claims that vengeance is his and that it is the magistrate who he uses to enact that that vengeance upon wrongdoers. For murder, the penalty is unequivocally death (this pronouncement applies to all of creation and pre-dates the Mosaic law).
A more reasonable and conservative position in opposition to the death penalty is taken by Cardinal Dulles in an article in First Things. Dulles notes that both Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition (and indeed essentially all Catholic theologians until about the 1950s) do not oppose the death penalty. He notes that opposition to the death penalty "has gone hand in hand with a decline of faith in eternal life" and that early abolition of the death penalty was usually done over the protests of believers. more >>
The "Charlie Charlie Challenge," the newest game sensation being played by children and adults throughout the world, should have Christian parents concerned that their children are committing an act "detestable" to God by summoning a forbidden demon, Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress said Friday.
More and more people are posting videos to social media featuring them trying out the Charlie Charlie Challenge, which requires setting up a child-like apparatus with two pencils — that many believe mysteriously move — to indicate the presence of a "Mexican demon" known as Charlie.
Participants set up two pencils in the shape of a cross on top of a piece of paper that is divided into four sections— two yes sections and two no sections. With one pencil balanced on top of the other pencil, contestants asks questions like "Charlie, can we play?" and "Charlie, are you here?" more >>