World Vision, a global, para-church ministry that helps countless people in numerous countries has just taken a big step. On Monday, President, Richard Stearns, announced a new policy change that will allow people who are legally married to their same-sex partner to be employed by the Christian organization. The decision made by the Board was not unanimous, but did have overwhelming support.
Ironically, abstinence before marriage is still a pre-requisite to work at World Vision, as is fidelity in one's marriage. In that respect, their new tolerance of committed homosexual couples seems a little odd. Apparently sodomy in the bonds of matrimony is permissible because the language in our culture has been changed. I don't know…it feels kind of like they're forbidding murder but allowing cannibalism. Something seems off to me.
President Stearns went to great lengths in his Christianity Today article to assert that this decision was really meant to preserve the unity of the entire Body of Christ, citing a number of times that he felt it necessary for particular churches and denominations to wrangle amongst themselves with the theology of human sexuality. Being that World Vision has supporters and constituents from numerous denominational backgrounds and beliefs, Stearns judiciously wanted to defer to their individual authority and autonomy. He unhesitatingly went out on a limb, risking it all when he boldly proclaimed: "This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support." Wow. I haven't seen this kind of bravery since the suicide bomber who went on his fifth mission. You know, if I didn't know any better, I'd think that World Vision was trying to have its cake and eat it, or rather, Kate and Edith too. more >>
Starbucks Coffee plans to expand its wine and beer selection to 40 locations throughout the United States by the end of this year, and thousands more in the years to come.
"The concept is a natural progression for Starbucks as we seek to create a new occasion for customers to gather, relax and connect with each other in the evenings," spokeswoman Lisa Passe said, according to USA Today.
The international coffee chain began experimenting with alcohol sales at a lone location in Seattle, Wash., in 2010. more >>
Christian leaders such as evangelist Franklin Graham and Russell D. Moore, who is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed outrage that Christian relief organization World Vision announced it would hire employees in same-sex marriages on Monday.
"I was shocked today to hear of World Vision's decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages," Graham, the son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said in his statement. "The Bible is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.
"My dear friend, Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse, would be heartbroken. He was an evangelist who believed in the inspired Word of God. World Vision maintains that their decision is based on unifying the church – which I find offensive – as if supporting sin and sinful behavior can unite the church. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Scriptures consistently teach that marriage is between a man and woman and any other marriage relationship is sin," Graham, who is the president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. more >>
A Texas Presbyterian megachurch is asking for prayers as it readies for the trial date for its property lawsuit against the mainline Protestant denomination that its voted to disaffiliate from.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas' sent out a statement requesting prayers as they neared the date for arguments in their lawsuit against Presbyterian Church (USA).
The letter sent to the congregation last week by Highland Park Presbyterian's leadership, or Session, outlines the events leading up to the fall trial. more >>
A national gay rights organization has taken issue with a Roman Catholic Archdiocese's recently implemented "morals clause" added to their private school teacher contracts.
"As support for LGBT equality continues to grow, particularly among Catholics, the Cincinnati Archdiocese is enacting draconian restrictions on Catholic school employees," Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign wrote in an entry on the group's website Tuesday that calls for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to reconsider its new rule. "HRC is calling on Diocese leaders to model Christian values and not discriminate against LGBT teachers or straight allies in their employment practices."
Guequierre argued that the new measure for Catholic school teachers in the Archdiocese is discriminatory and will remove employment protections for teachers. more >>
An panel from the United Methodist Church has agreed to hear an appeal from a Pennsylvania pastor who officiated his son's same-sex wedding. The appeals committee plans to hear the case of defrocked pastor Frank Schaefer this coming summer.
Jen Ihlo, president of the UMC Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals, said in a statement that the appeal will be tried under the authority of the Book of Discipline and will take place on June 20.
The "practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching," according to the UMC 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." more >>