Long before the start of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's 2014 (ERLC 2014) conference on marriage, sexuality and homosexuality, the fiery darts were thrown. Cultural and religious analysts and Twitter pundits alike hurled their accusations of hatred and bigotry with the hopes Internet bullying would silence discussions of biblical sexuality. But had critics waited to watch the ERLC 2014 live stream, they might have been surprised by the Southern Baptists' compassionate, almost self-deprecating opening notes.
"When we come to an event like this we have to have our hearts broken, not about their sin but about ours," said Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and ERLC 2014's opening keynote speaker. Mohler even shared, "I repent of denying that sexual orientation was legitimate."
During the first panel discussion moderated by Phillip Bethancourt, topics covered beyond same-sex marriage included divorce and cohabitation. But one of the most compassionate statements made was directed at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) community when Dr. Russell Moore, President of the ERLC, recognized the LGBTQ youth kicked out of their parents' homes as a human dignity issue and the called on the Church to step in and care for these homeless LGBTQ youth in need. more >>
Tonight, fans of "19 Kids & Counting" will be able to see Jill Duggar wed Derick Dillard in a special episode that features the couple deciding on and agreeing to have a unique, covenant marriage.
A covenant marriage license is available only in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Arizona and allows for more opportunities for couples who want to ensure that they stay together through thick and thin. It requires a couple to have special premarital counseling and agreeing to seek counseling should they ever consider separating or divorcing. According to TLC, covenant marriages "do not permit no-fault divorces, or divorces that are granted without evidence that the marital contract was broken."
Jill and Derick agreed to this stronger commitment as a sign of faith in each other and God. Should they ever choose to file for divorce, though, they would have to prove that at least one of them either committed a felony or serious crime, physical or sexual abuse of their children, committed adultery, or lived separately for at least two years or just one year if there was a child and some form of abuse. more >>
Day one of a three-day conference hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Commission discussing how Christians should react to the ongoing battle between those framing the homosexual lifestyle debate as a civil rights issue and those supporting what they believe to be biblical moral values, including traditional marriage, featured plenty of fireworks — most happening online through social media.
More than 1,200 are attending the ERLC conference which began on Monday. The conference, themed "The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage" is taking place in Nashville and offered by live stream over the Internet.
"Gotta be careful of making idols out of marriage and procreation when Scripture / Christ do not do so. #ERLC2014," tweeted Rachel Held Evans, author of Faith Unraveled. Evans was one of several Twitter users dishing up a steady volley of criticism over the ERLC conference. more >>
There's a new kind of Gay Christian. Most of us are aware of the Justin Lees and the Matthew Vines, but, unlike those guys and like myself, these new Gay Christians hold fast to the truth of Scripture regarding the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. They aren't out there practicing homosexual behavior. They aren't engaging in dating relationships with people of the same gender or seeking to do so. Celibacy is the path that they have chosen in light of their current sexual inclinations and their simultaneous, and stronger, desire to submit themselves to the Lordship of Christ.
These people are most definitely my brothers and sisters in Christ. I would hesitate to make such a claim about Matthew Vines or Justin Lee, but these folks– like Julie Rodgers or Matt Jones or Wesley Hill — I am confident I will stand with side by side in the age to come as we rejoice forever in the life Christ has purchased for us with His own life. But I strongly disagree with their chosen terminologies used to describe who they are.
I refuse to call myself a Gay Christian. Here are a few reasons why: more >>
Corporal punishment is a sensitive subject. It is also becoming more controversial in today's culture. Recent charges brought against a popular NFL running back have surfaced it once again.
Decades ago I authored a book now titled, The Little Handbook of Loving Correction. It was formerly called, God, the Rod, and Your Child's Bod. I changed it out of cultural sensitivity.
This subject is very personal to me because I actually had a family member bring totally false accusations against me regarding this issue! A church I cofounded over 37 years ago was embroiled in a lawsuit dealing with "abuse" and even though I departed the church 23 years ago, my name was "thrown in the hopper." more >>
Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald are preparing to say "I do" this weekend, and photos of their wedding invitations have just been released.
Jessa and Ben have been engaged for a short time and are planning a rather low-key event compared to the elaborate wedding of sister Jill and her husband Derick Dillard. Jessa previously spoke of wanting to re-use her sister's wedding decorations for her own celebration in order to save on funds. The couple wants to spend the majority of their money on the honeymoon, which will be the first time they will be able to be alone together.
Per Duggar family tradition, Jessa and Ben practiced a traditional courtship and did not hold hands or have any physical contact except for a quick side-hug. They were always accompanied by guardians on their dates, which generally meant that one or more of Jill's brothers or sisters would be invited on the outing. More recently, Ben moved onto Duggar property, meaning he was closer to his bride-to-be, but the rules remained the same. They were never alone and only held hands once they were engaged. Ben and Jessa will exchange their first kiss at the wedding ceremony. more >>