Christians across the nation are mobilizing to defend a group of Houston pastors who were ordered by the city to turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity issues or Houston mayor. Their message is simple – Don't Mess with Texas Preachers.
Dave Welch, the executive director of the Texas Pastor Council, is one of the five ministers who received a subpoena. He said he will not be intimidated by Annise Parker, who is the city's first openly lesbian mayor, nor will he comply with the city's demands.
"My answer to that is – bring it on," he said. more >>
The story sounds like something you'd read on a crazed e-mail forward — the city of Houston demands to see the contents of pastors' sermons on the topic of homosexuality, gender identity, and . . . restroom access. In fact, when I first heard the story from a parent at my kids' school, I didn't believe it.
But, yes, it's true. In fact, the reality is even worse than the reports. Houston — as part of its litigation strategy opposing a voter lawsuit filed after the city rejected voter petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into bathrooms — has issued subpoenas that don't just demand pastors' sermons on the topics of "equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity," (and, of course, "restroom access"), they also demand all documents including "emails, instant messages, and text messages" on those same topics.
So, if a pastor is engaged in a theological discussion with a fellow pastor on the covered topics, that will have to be produced. If a pastor texts a friend his position on "restroom access," that has to be produced. more >>
CHARLOTTE – For Christian parents to pass on their faith to their children, they should not answer their children's questions but respond with more questions to help their kids think through the issues themselves rather than rely upon their parents, famed Christian apologist Josh McDowell and his son, Sean McDowell, explained recently at the Southern Evangelical Seminary's 21st Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In raising his four children, Josh McDowell explained that he tried to never answer their questions but to respond to them with another question because he wanted them to develop their own convictions rather than simply become Christians because their parents are Christian.
"I needed to teach my kids to think," he said, "to think logically, to come to their conclusions. Because if there is always dad's answer, then they couldn't develop convictions." more >>
Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, has resigned from the multi-city megachurch he and his wife helped found 18 years ago after a series of calls were made for the Seattle, Washington, preacher to step down from ministry due to his admitted "divisive" leadership style.
According to an announcement published on marshill.com:
On Tuesday, October 14, Pastor Mark Driscoll submitted his resignation as an elder and lead pastor of Mars Hill Church. The Board of Overseers has accepted that resignation and is moving forward with planning for pastoral transition, recognizing the challenge of such a task in a church that has only known one pastor since its founding. We ask for prayer for the journey ahead. more >>
On Monday, the Vatican released an interim report, known as a relatio, which is a non-authoritative document, similar to an advisory, for its synod of bishops to consider when they next discuss issues related to the family, marriage, divorce and sexual orientation.
The media responded, sadly, as it often has, in a frenzy of inferences rather than researching and reporting facts. Reuters proclaimed the Catholic Church has made a "dramatic shift in tone" about same-sex couples— an "earthquake." The New York Times reported the Vatican was calling on the church to "welcome and accept gay people."
The media's ignorance about religious beliefs is well known but the refusal to actually do their job and report facts is astounding. more >>
Recent events have brought the debate on so-called "death with dignity" and assisted suicide into the spotlight again. And yet, the argument is not really a new one. No less a light than William Shakespeare extensively dealt with the subject in his writing.
"Death with dignity" is essentially a code word for suicide, sometimes in the face of a terminal illness. As one humanist put it, he wants to kill himself on his own terms rather than die from some disease. He said it would be like telling God, "You can't fire me---I quit."
In the Netherlands, they accepted the basic concept of doctor-assisted suicide ("death with dignity") many years ago. But they have now reached the point where the level of involuntary deaths has exceeded the number of voluntary deaths. more >>