Repeated Disclaimer: I can't wordsmith this so that everyone who wants to defend their lifestyle isn't offended. So before you call me a hater and small minded bigot - understand this: I've spent a lot of time in my life ministering to people in the worst of situations. I have loved people you might deem unlovable. I've spent time in prisons, time in far away parts of the globe, just to encourage men and women, share Christ's love with them, help them and minister to them. I'm just contrasting what our culture is saying with what God's Word says, so if the best you can do is call names, save your breath (and I'd still welcome the opportunity to talk to you about Jesus and His great sacrifice for you).
From the rainbow flags being waved by folks I thought were Christians, there seems to be confusion around the question: Is Christianity compatible with the practice of homosexuality or same-sex marriage?
In the area of same-sex marriage, there are some ideas that are completely at odds with simple Bible based Christianity (the only other kind of Christianity is what we make up ourselves). Here they are: more >>
I often ask, "How many can say like Jeremiah, 'His word was in my heart like a burning fire, shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not' (20:9)?" If we are honest, we realize that the power of the Holy Spirit is clearly missing in the lives of many Christians.
I came across an encouraging book a few years ago entitled, They Found The Secret. It contains brief biographies of Christian leaders such as D.L. Moody, John Bunyan, Amy Carmichael, Charles Finney, Adoniram Judson, Oswald Chambers, Hudson Taylor, Andrew Murray, and more who received a mighty filling of the Spirit after conversion…sometimes years later. In many cases, it wasn't until they finally surrendered their entire life to God that they experienced such intensity that could only be born of the Spirit.
In the words of Oswald Chambers before the Spirit came upon him, "God used me during those years…but I had no conscious communion with Him. The Bible was the dullest, most uninteresting book in existence…" Then he writes a few years later, "If the four previous years had been hell on earth, these five years have truly been heaven on earth. Glory be to God, the last aching abyss of the human heart is filled to overflowing with the love of God." more >>
In the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges, pastors and church members are experiencing a wave of anxiety over what many of them deem the "nightmare scenario": lawsuits or government action designed to force them to perform or recognize same-sex marriages. While there are — so far — no meaningful judicial precedents that would permit such dramatic interference with churches' core First Amendment rights, lawsuits challenging church liberties are inevitable.
Indeed, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has declared that prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity "sometimes" apply to churches and has stated that a "church service open to the public" is not a "bona fide religious purpose" that would limit application of the law. In 2012 a New Jersey administrative-law judge ruled that a religious organization "closely associated with the United Methodist Church" wrongly denied access to its facilities for a same-sex wedding.
Churches, like virtually every functioning corporation, protect against liability risks and the potentially ruinous costs of litigation through liability insurance. With same-sex marriage now recognized as a constitutional right — and with news of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries awarding a lesbian couple $135,000 in damages for "emotional, mental and physical suffering" after a Christian bakery refused to bake their wedding cake — pastors are reaching out insurance companies to make sure they're covered. And at least one insurer has responded with a preemptory denial: no coverage if a church is sued for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding. more >>
"God's Not Dead 2: He's Surely Alive," the sequel to the $60 million grossing 2014 film, hits theaters on Easter of 2016 and will feature a slew of cameos from well-known celebrities, including an appearance from "Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson.
Robertson will follow in the footsteps of her parents, Willie and Korie, who made a cameo in the original "God's Not Dead" film.
The sequel to the faith-based mega-hit stars Melissa Joan Hart, who's best known for her roles in the TV series "Clarissa Explains It All" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," and actor Jesse Metcalf who made a name himself as the adulterous landscaper on ABC's "Desperate Housewives." more >>
Ulf Ekman, the former leader of evangelical megachurch Word of Life in Sweden, reflected on his first year as a member of the Roman Catholic Church with his wife following his conversion, and said that things started to make sense for them after the reception. Ekman revealed that the Blessed Virgin Mary led him and his wife to the Catholic Church, and said that loving Jesus means to love the Church.
"It was a real experience for us. It was like several missing pieces fell into place, and so much started to make sense. There was a deep sense of 'arriving' that came to us," Ekman explained in an interview with The National Catholic Register, talking about the reception with his wife, Birgitta, into the Church on May 21, 2014.
"It has been a wonderful year that we will never forget as long as we live. We feel very much at home in the Church and are grateful to the Lord. It has also been an intense year, due to the ongoing media coverage in Scandinavia. We have gained some wonderful new friends, but, like Blessed John Henry Newman said, it has also been a time of 'parting of friends,'" he added. more >>
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, said Tuesday that in his personal opinion Jesus Christ would approve of same-sex marriage.
Carter's remarks come less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that state-level gay marriage bans are unconstitutional. His belief, however, does not align with a number of conservative Christians, both from evangelical and Catholic traditions, who've said that God has made marriage between one man and one woman, and have been disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision.
"I believe Jesus would. I don't have any verse in Scripture. ... I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that's just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else. And I don't see that gay marriage damages anyone else," Carter told HuffPost Live in an interview on Tuesday. more >>