The fact that some people change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual (some as a result of professional therapy) is a problem for the homosexual movement. It seriously undermines the myth that homosexuality is a characteristic like race, which people are born with and can never change.
Homosexual activists have attacked the ex-gay movement, using legislation to outlaw "sexual orientation change efforts" (or "SOCE") with minors by licensed mental health providers. Such bills have passed in California and New Jersey, but have died or remain pending in several other jurisdictions—including the District of Columbia.
Most "sexual reorientation therapy" today consists of "talk therapy"—a client simply talking with a counselor about his or her feelings, experiences, relationships with parents and peers, etc. Some therapists add other positive techniques that have been validated in a variety of contexts—not just SOCE. more >>
Fierce battles over whether classic hymns or contemporary tunes should be the linchpins of Christian worship may have subsided, but the arena is still messy, according to worship pastor and recording artist Lincoln Brewster. Some Christians are more excited about turning up for a concert than they are about getting to worship on time, he says from experience. Others have placed facilitating genuine God-connections on the back burner for the sake of being "cool."
Brewster, in his 40s, was such a maestro on the guitar as a youth that by the age of 19, he was considering a major recording contract. But he passed on the golden opportunity for what he believed was a more sure-fire deal — serving at his local church. He has since released seven albums in partnership with Integrity Music, and has produced for the label such worship anthems as "Everlasting God" and "God You Reign."
Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, where Brewster has served as the worship arts pastor for the last 14 years, describes him on its website as "a multi-talented guitarist, singer and songwriter" who "speaks to the hearts of people who are hungry for non-traditional, passionate worship." His accolades surely attest to his skills, but Brewster, a married father, is reluctant to take on the "rock star" title. more >>
Can you imagine a television program airing in America that portrayed Muhammad as a foul-mouthed pothead? Given that earlier this year ABC canceled Alice in Arabia—a show about an Arab-American who goes to live with her grandparents in Saudi Arabia—because CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) complained that the show relied on stereotypes of Muslims, it seems highly unlikely. Yet Black Jesus –the latest reminder that Christianity is the only major religion it is universally permissible to denigrate—began airing August 7 on Adult Swim.
Why did this show make it past the network censors while a similar show about Muhammad never would have? Probably for the same reason P*ss Christ—a 1987 photograph of a crucifix submerged in the "artist's" urine—was exhibited in the Stux Gallery in New York and won an award for visual arts from the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. And the same reason Madonna could perform her single Live to Tell wearing a crown of thorns while suspended from a giant cross. In America, mocking Christianity has gone from being considered a sign of poor taste to the mark of artistic courage.
Although Megan Kelly was nearly "crucified" for affirming that Jesus was white, this series takes the issue of Jesus' ethnicity to the point of absurdity. Black Jesus began as a series of shorter skits on YouTube, where its antics fit well with the millions of hours of similarly amateurish material. The show has one joke: a black man in Compton dresses in robes suitable for a middle school play and calls himself Jesus. He's a nice enough guy, but he spends his days drinking forties, smoking joints, and dropping the f-bomb. And if you don't think that's just hilarious, then according to Robert Lloyd of the Chicago Tribune, you are an uptight religious fanatic who needs to relax. Lloyd writes: more >>
Late last week, on Friday afternoon, while most of us were checking out of work (mentally if not physically) and focusing on the weekend, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release informing of yet another revision to its contraceptive/abortion pill mandate. As it turns out, we didn't miss much.
The HHS was obliged to make changes following the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which struck down the Mandate as it applies to closely held for-profit corporations. Also, the HHS could hardly ignore the string of subsequent court rulings casting doubt on the propriety of an "accommodation" the department set aside for religious non-profits.
Like a number of federal courts figured out, the "accommodation" given to religious non-profits is not very accommodating. The HHS decided they'd make the insurance company, and not the ministry, pay for contraceptive and abortion services, conveniently ignoring the real-world effect of increased premiums that cause employers to cover the additional costs in a back-door way. And, HHS glosses over the actual concern: More than just paying for it, Christian ministries are compelled to be deal-brokers between their own employees and providers of highly objectionable services. But for the employment, their employees do not receive free abortions. more >>
There is a myth of church success in America that says, "The bigger the building, the bigger the budget, the bigger the attendance, the more successful you are."
In the sight of man, this might equal success, but in the sight of God, it might have nothing to do with success. In fact, it might simply be the beautiful façade hiding all kinds of spiritual rot and decay.
To be clear, I have had the privilege of preaching in some of the finest mega-churches in America, replete with large buildings, big budgets, and multiplied thousands of attendees. And I can personally attest to the fact that some of these churches are healthy in many ways: focused on Jesus, reaching the lost, making disciples, and giving themselves to prayer. more >>
About two years ago over 30 of the nation's pro-life leaders issued an official statement against an environmental campaign spearheaded by the Evangelical Environmental Network calling mercury regulations "pro-life."
Instead of correcting its claims, EEN doubled down and expanded them, further obscuring the meaning of "pro-life" and diluting its usefulness to identify people working to end abortion on demand. First they aligned global warming to the "pro-life" cause, and then they expanded the definition of "life" beyond human beings to include caring for all of life.
For EEN and CEO Mitchell C. Hescox, being "pro-life" doesn't simply mean opposing abortion or other actions that intentionally kill human beings. It means opposing any action that some environmentalist thinks creates any risk, however great or small, to any life, human or non-human. more >>