Reparative therapy is a hot button, cultural topic that stirs deep rooted emotions for those on both sides. So we must be cautious not to reduce what Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty (ERLC) Commission, says about it into a sound bite.
Taken out of context, Moore's remarks to press at the ERLC's 2014 conference this week could very easily be used to totally denounce reparative therapy. But if you read all of Moore's statements, nowhere do you find him downright rejecting reparative therapy. Instead, he's putting it in its place on the hierarchy of healing.
According to Religion News Service, Moore told journalists, "The utopian idea if you come to Christ and if you go through our program, you're going to be immediately set free from attraction or anything you're struggling with, I don't think that's a Christian idea." Moore continued, "Faithfulness to Christ means obedience to Christ. It does not necessarily mean that someone's attractions are going to change." more >>
Let me begin by plainly stating my biases. I like and admire the Palins. My wife has worked with Bristol for years (she edits the Patheos Faith and Family Channel, where Bristol blogs), she collaborated with Sarah on her most recent book, and I have successfully represented Bristol in free-speech litigation. We Frenches share the Palins' political, cultural, and religious values, and we're proud to call them friends. Even amongst fellow conservatives, I can think of few people who are more unfairly misjudged and maligned. It's as if the avalanche of leftist hate has consciously or unconsciously negatively impacted even those who would otherwise be their friends and supporters.
So, with that as background, it was particularly infuriating to watch CNN's Carol Costello maliciously celebrate audio of a distraught and injured Bristol Palin, a young woman taped in the immediate aftermath of an unquestionably traumatic event. It was infuriating, but it was also instructive, a reminder that to some on the left (including Carol Costello herself) outrage over an issue — in this case, violence against women — takes a backseat to hatred of a political opponent. In the hierarchy of values, demeaning, mocking, and discrediting the wrong kind of person trumps even the most basic expressions of human sympathy in the face of obvious pain and suffering.
Here's the lesson we have to learn again and again: For all too many on the left, their feelings are the true reverse of Sally Field's famous Oscar speech. They hate us. They really, really hate us. And that hate burns with greater ferocity than does their love for peace or safety or security for their fellow citizens. And for conservative women or for black or Latino conservatives, the hatred burns especially hot. more >>
A student petition to stop atheist HBO talk show host Bill Maher from speaking at the University of California at Berkeley's fall commencement ceremony has reached over 3,000 signatures. The petition has called Maher a "blatant bigot" and "racist" over his strong opinions about Islam.
"Bill Maher is a blatant bigot and racist who has no respect for the values UC Berkeley students and administration stand for. In a time where climate is a priority for all on campus, we cannot invite an individual who himself perpetuates a dangerous learning environment. Bill Maher's public statements on various religions and cultures are offensive and his dangerous rhetoric has found its way into our campus communities," reads the Change.org petition, started by Khwaja Ahmed, a member of the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition.
"Too many students are marginalized by his remarks and if the university were to bring this individual as a commencement speaker they would not be supporting these historically marginalized communities. It is the responsibility of the University of California to protect all students and uphold a standard of civility." more >>
It seems like only yesterday that the Goth craze sent many teenagers out partying in graveyards – decked out like Monster High dolls, resurrecting their own version of the "Night of the Living Dead."
Over time, it seemed this fad had been put to rest but as we learned last week, some Christians have made the grave choice to participate in a similar tomb-side practice known as grave-sucking. They are not the first with such a morbid fascination, as we read in scripture we learn of a possessed man who actually lived amongst the tombs… unable to be confined by physical chains and shackles, yet a legion of demons bound his spirit.
Ironically, he knew exactly who Jesus was as he ran towards the Son of the most High God. I'd imagine we'd be no different than the swine owners, not only being in shock for having just witnessed 2,000 demon-possessed pigs run to their death, but even more astonishing would be seeing such a dramatic and spontaneous change in this once demonic man. more >>
The story of divorce in America is also the record of societal changes in religion or morality, economics and mobility.
Before the colonies had formed together to become the United States, abandonment was a popular way to end a marriage. "Wanted" ads for absent husbands or wives were common.
In early America, matrimonial and family concerns were ruled by the religious standards of the era. Judeo-Christian leaders adopted theological beliefs about misconduct - and sometimes punishment - for couples wanting a divorce. more >>
Almost 20 years ago, I was speaking with an older Jewish couple who seemed very close to putting their faith in Jesus as Messiah, but they were not 100 percent sure.
I said to them, "Later this week I'm debating an Orthodox rabbi. Why not come to the debate to hear both sides of the issue, and then you can make an informed decision?"
Thankfully, they came to the event, they listened with open hearts and minds, and by God's grace, they came to faith. more >>