Julie Rodgers, a counselor in the Chaplain's Office at Wheaton College, announced Monday that she supports same-sex relationships and resigned her position at the college. Rodgers, who identified as a gay, celibate Christian, said she no longer sees celibacy as a viable option for most self-identified gays.
In a blog post, Rodgers wrote, "When young people have angsted at me about the gay debate, I've just told them to follow Jesus—to seek to honor Him with their sexuality and love others well." For some, this means embracing celibacy, Rodgers said; but for most, it means pursuing marriage to someone of the same sex. "We're made for long-term, committed relationships that bind us to one another and cost us something . . . Some might find that in friendship, which is wonderful. But most will find it in a spouse because that's the context we have for making such serious commitments and staying true to them once life happens."
I affirm an orthodox Christian sexual ethic and wrote an article for WORLD expressing concerns when Wheaton hired Rodgers. So, one might expect me to disagree with her. Actually, I think Rodgers is right – just not in the way she thinks. more >>
A prominent mosque in Sacramento has honored an Evangelical Christian congregation for the first time with its annual award for outstanding acts of interfaith service. The accolade recognizes the church's efforts to help Middle Eastern refugees settle into their new lives in California.
During its fourth annual interfaith Iftar [an evening meal for Muslims to end their daily fast during the month of Ramadan] last Wednesday, the SALAM Islamic Center honored the First Covenant Church of Sacramento with its "Distinguished Award for Exceptional Interfaith and Community Service."
The Sacramento Bee reports that the banquet was attended by 200 community members including local, state and federal officials. SALAM Executive Director Metwalli Amer told the audience that First Covenant has taken outstanding measures to bridge the societal gap for Muslim newcomers to the community who are seeking safety from their conflict-ridden homelands in the Middle East. more >>
In my opinion, failure to recognize diverse gifts may explain why many people are divided on the issue of religion and politics. For instance, John MacArthur, James Dobson, Chuck Colson, Tony Perkins, Jim Garlow, and D. James Kennedy have/had different ministries, but all fall under the umbrella of Christian service. God creates, within each of us, varying desires, talents, and levels of interests. If God has called a man to preach and teach His Word, that will be his passion. If God has called a Christian to pursue politics, that will be his or her passion, and so on.
Problems arise when we become judgmental and fail to respect our differences. Activists should not expect everyone to share their passion for politics, and those who believe Christians should stay out of politics must understand that God clearly calls some Christians to the political arena. God established the concept of government, why would He not desire godly leadership?
The top five comments I've heard that prevent involvement are: more >>
This is the first of a six part blog series in which I am carefully going to attempt to graciously point out some of the major ways that I believe the Church in America has dropped the ball in its interaction with the gay community. When a friend suggested that I embark upon a series like this, I was extremely hesitant because the last thing I want to be or be known as is a critic. There are already more than enough of those lurking about in the blogosphere, crouching in the shadows just waiting to pounce on the next juicy pastoral failure, Christian hypocrisy, or church scandal. But, at the risk of coming off as critical, I have decided to do this because the fact of the matter is that the Western Church at large – there are some exceptions – has been radically ineffective in reaching the same sex attracted community with both the truth and the love of Christ. I think some of that ineffectiveness has arisen from willful hatred and discrimination against this community (and that's what this first post will be about), but I truly believe that most of the ways we have fallen short can be traced back to our ignorance regarding this issue.
Our knowledge of homosexuality, and the very real struggle that many experience with it, has been largely misinformed by biblically-faulty religious tradition. Many of us have been taught by an old, angry preacher somewhere that people just choose to start being attracted to the same sex. So our response has been, "Hey, stop choosing to be gay!" Many of us have been told by well intentioned, but biblically illiterate church folk that if someone makes a simple decision to believe in Jesus, they can be instantly cured of their homosexual tendencies. So our plea to the gay community has been, "Hey, come to Jesus, get the Holy Spirit, and he'll make you straight!" Some of us have been wildly misled by paranoid conservatives to believe that all gay people are "perverts" who are attracted to young children, so our response has been to shield our kids from any type of interaction with these supposed predators. Some of us have been told by ungracious religious teachers untrained in the Bible that God has forever given homosexuals over to a completely hardened heart, so our response has been to not even share the gospel with them because. "Since God's done with them, there's really no use in witnessing, right? Better just to keep away from them…."
We've been told and have believed a lot of wildly erroneous ideas. This skewed information has totally misshaped our perception of people who experience same sex attraction and jacked up our approach to them as well. Homosexuality has rapidly gained popular acceptance over the last 50-60 years and, at large, we've failed to respond with the truth of the Bible and the love of its Author. So I'm doing this series. Not because I think my six little posts will make straight all the ways we've gone crooked, but because the conversation needs to get started. It's time we step back from our frustration over the political woes surrounding this issue, regroup, and refocus on actually reaching gay people with the gospel. My goal is hopefully to aid in that process for those who decide to read along. more >>
Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham says that no true atheists exist today, and that there will be no atheists in eternity, despite what world famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins claim. Ham also said that atheists are "so aggressive" because they know the truth, but deny it.
"Some Americans call themselves atheists — and many in other countries openly profess atheism, but as I explain in my article below, there are no atheists now, and there will be no atheists in eternity," Ham said in a Facebook post on Monday, and linked to an earlier article where he called out Dawkins for his beliefs.
Ham argued that even Dawkins, the best-selling author and evolutionary biologist behind The God Delusion, has admitted that he is not "absolutely sure about atheism." more >>
NEW YORK — Luis Palau, who started his missionary career in 1962, has traveled the world preaching the Gospel to millions. Yet, the 80-year-old Argentinian evangelist says there are still a few special locales remaining on his bucket list of places to bring the Good News.
Palau, who recently preached to an estimated 60,000 people in New York City's famous Central Park, has "personally shared the Gospel with more than 30 million people through evangelistic events in more than 75 nations, and hundreds of millions more through radio and television," according to his self-named ministry, The Luis Palau Association.
In the first of a two-part interview with The Christian Post, Palau comments on his most recent campaign, NY CityFest-CityServe, which brought together 1,700 local churches to assist their communities and schools through service projects. He also shares what he has learned by working with the NYC Latino evangelical community and lists some of the top places around the world where he would still like to preach. more >>