I have been shocked and surprised to read in comments by Christians about the 50 Shades of Grey book and film that the Bible supports married couples doing whatever they want in the marriage bed – thus giving divine approval to BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism) between consenting spouses. Often cited is the KJV Bible version of Hebrews 13:4: "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" - as though that verse supports such a notion.
Let's look more carefully at Hebrews 13:4 before letting that pass, for it has been the justification for all sorts of abuse and other perversion in the marriage bed over the centuries. Hebrews 13:4 is actually saying just the opposite of "husband and wife - do what you will in your sexual relationship". The Greek word "amiantos" actually means "undefiled in the sense of being kept pure" and most decidedly NOT in the sense of "do whatever sex act to each other that you both agree to". It is saying that the marriage bed is to be kept pure from defilement, not "given a license for defilement". Just because two married people agree to defile one another does not mean that it is biblical or in any way healthy.
BDSM, anal intercourse (sodomy) or anything else that damages the body is a gross defilement of the marriage bed and God's intent. Any proctologist or urologist will tell you that anal intercourse always causes damage to the body of the recipient. It goes against the natural design of the body and is a breeding ground for disease. more >>
In our continuing and in-depth analysis of public opinion data on religion and immigration attitudes we have found that white evangelicals have been, and continue to be, the most opposed to immigration reform among religious groups.This finding has been present consistently over the past twenty years in dozens of surveys from polling organizations including the Pew Research Center, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), the General Social Surveys, and the American National Election Studies.
This strong opposition among evangelical laity has persisted despite the pro-reform advocacy efforts of numerous evangelical organizations and leaders. Evangelical advocacy began to develop during the Bush Administration's push for comprehensive immigration reform back in 2006-07. Today a much broader coalition of evangelical groups continues to deepen and expand this advocacy under the auspices of the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), formed in June 2012. There are minor hints of change — a recent study concludes that the informational campaigns by EIT in some states have contributed to marginal gains in support for immigration reform by white evangelicals. Overall, however, white evangelicals remain the religious group most opposed to immigration reform.
Part of the problem is that the expansive efforts of evangelical elites on immigration have not been matched by increased teaching and preaching on immigration by evangelical clergy. Evidence from 2010 and 2013 surveys from Pew and PRRI shows that evangelical laity perceive that less than one in six of their clergy ever openly discusses the subject of immigration in the church. When they do speak about reform, and speak favorably, attitudes toward the immigrant and immigration policy shift in a more supportive direction. But given the dearth of such messages, immigration policy attitudes are derived mostly from other sources. more >>
WASHINGTON — A prominent evangelical leader who attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Thursday believes President Barack Obama's speech championing religious freedom needs to be put into practice by his administration to end religious intolerance in the United States and abroad.
Obama's speech to the crowd of 3,600 that included the Dalai Lama focused on religious freedom and the need to combat evil actions carried out by militants in the name of religion across the world.
Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference who attended the prayer breakfast, told The Christian Post that he respects Obama's spiritual convictions, but nevertheless is a critic of the administration's actions that undermine religious freedom in the U.S. more >>
Just when you thought Rev. Danny Cortez would be busy avoiding controversy after he and his congregation were dismissed by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2014 for adopting a "third way" affirming same-sex unions, he has landed himself in hot water again.
This time, dissension arose during an interview between the "third way" pastor and another gay-affirming minister who finds holes in Cortez's logic on sexuality, Scripture, and polyamory. The host of the interview is Rev. Jeff Hood, who describes himself as "a Southerner, Queer, and Christian, I am a committed activist, visionary writer and radical prophetic voice to a closed society."
At the beginning of the interview Hood simply asks whether or not Cortez believes the Bible makes room for polyamory. Cortez starts off firmly rejecting polyamory relationships saying, "I don't see polyamory spoken of positively at all in scripture. When polyamory is mentioned, it is not approved or valued." Hood presses on, at one point even insinuating Jesus and His twelve disciples engaged in a polyamorous relationship. Again, Cortez denies polyamory and the idea that Jesus engaged in sexual relationships with His disciples. more >>
The presidents from three leading American faith-based universities convened Wednesday to discuss the role of faith-based colleges in an increasingly secular society and agreed that faith-based schools, more so than secular schools, stress the importance of living lives filled with morals, ethics and responsibility to others.
John Garvey of Catholic University of America and Richard Joel of the the New York-based and Jewish Yeshiva University participated in a Wednesday night discussion on the state of higher education and the calling of faith-based universities, which was moderated and hosted by Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr at the National Press Club.
Although all the presidents agreed that that it is imperative for colleges to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in a career, what is equally as important and often overlooked by state and secular schools in today's secular environment, is making sure that students are prepared to make tough moral and ethical choices when they are faced with many of life's tough dilemmas. more >>
Outspoken British atheist Stephen Fry was recently asked what he would say to God if such a being really existed and he encountered him/her/it after death. His reply was passionate, eloquent, defiant, and irreverent. I wonder what God might say to him.
How would the Creator respond to being characterized by a mere mortal as "utterly evil . . . capricious, mean-minded, stupid" and "monstrous," among other choice descriptions?
The first error made by Fry was assuming he would be able to speak at all in God's presence, having no idea that he would suddenly encounter perfect purity, unimaginable love, absolute goodness, untainted justice, blazing truth, unadulterated light. more >>