The General Synod of the Church of Norway, the largest Christian denomination in the Scandinavian country, has voted in favor of accepting same-sex marriage, and will be offering the service to gay couples in the future.
Church of Norway chairman Sturla Stålsett said that the Synod's decision is "historical," The Nordic Page reported.
The decision still allows individual priests and other church staff to decide whether they want to participate in ceremonies for gay people, however. more >>
The Rev. Billy Graham has issued a written warning to America's churches: "Prepare for persecution."
The renowned preacher and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association penned a commentary that was posted on his website last week and is slated to appear in the November edition of Decision magazine.
In the magazine, Graham notes that the American church has been largely unfamiliar with persecution, writing that this "immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have experienced in the past two or three centuries is unusual." more >>
Three California churches have filed a complaint against the state over a recently implemented health insurance provision mandating the coverage of elective abortions.
Foothill Church of Glendora, Calvary Chapel in Chino, and Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch filed the complaint last Friday in U.S. District Court. The suit, filed against the director of the California Department of Managed Health Care, seeks injunctive relief from the abortion mandate.
"Plaintiffs believe, as a matter of religious conviction, that it would be sinful and immoral for them intentionally to pay for, participate in, facilitate, or otherwise support abortion, which they believe destroys innocent human life," reads the complaint. more >>
WASHINGTON — Christian ethicist Russell Moore has said that congregations too afraid of being political to speak out against acts of immorality, like abortion, are similar to churches in the 1800s that remained silent on the issue of slavery.
As the featured speaker at the Institute on Religion and Democracy's fifth annual Diane Knippers memorial lecture, Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, criticized mainstream Christian congregations that have relaxed their teachings on key issues of sexual morality and other social issues in order to blend in with the "ambient culture" and appeal to today's society.
Moore explained that religious conservatives need to "preserve" the biblical truth for future generations. Although secular society likes to claim that Christian conservatives are on the "wrong side of history," Moore told the audience that Christian conservatives should not be afraid to have their biblical convictions conflict with mainstream society and that they should really embrace the distinctive Christian message. more >>
Tennessee Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, has been called an "anti-Muslim bigot" by an advocacy group for introducing a bill that seeks to delay the teaching of religious doctrine in public schools until after 9th grade. The bill could be in response to parents complaining about Islamic indoctrination of their children.
"I think that probably the teaching that is going on right now in seventh, eighth grade is not age appropriate," Butt said, according to the Times Free Press. "They are not able to discern a lot of times whether its indoctrination or whether they're learning about what a religion teaches."
Parents from Williamson County, Maury County, and a number of other areas have apparently been complaining that their children are required to learn the Five Pillars of Islam in world history courses, which includes the Islamic conversion creed. more >>
Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis would do more for the Gospel by stepping down rather than continuing her legal fight to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
As a New York-based, media-centric individual who has been ensconced in this faith world for over forty years, I understand the Evangelical mind-set all too well that drove Davis to her decision.
Ms. Davis is the latest lightning rod in the increasingly divided cultural arena between people of faith and the rest of the world that does not share that faith. She felt that she could not grant a marriage license to a gay couple because, she says, she cannot acquiesce to a government decree that does not square with her Christian faith. The only problem is that she is the county clerk who provides that service. more >>