In one of the most egregious anti-Christian acts committed by a state official in recent memory, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian not only upheld the ridiculous $135,000 fine levied against Aaron and Melissa Klein for declining to bake a cake for a lesbian commitment ceremony, but he ordered the Kleins to "cease and desist" from making any public comments about their religious convictions relative to this case.
This is an outrage and a travesty, and it must be rebuked and resisted. Who does Mr. Avakian think he is?
The fine itself is unconscionable, as the amount of $135,000 was determined by tallying up the alleged emotional damages experienced by the lesbian couple, who as Thomas D. Williams noted, "accused the Kleins of 'mental rape,' adding that they had suffered a 'loss of appetite' and 'impaired digestion,' which remarkably led to 'weight gain.'" more >>
Although the world's largest Southern Baptist university, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has removed reference to "homosexual acts" from it's sexual conduct policy, the school still stands strong in its opposition to homosexual behavior despite multiple headlines leading readers to believe the school has removed "a ban on homosexual acts."
After the Waco Tribune-Herald reported last Thursday that Baylor, the oldest Christian college in Texas, revised segments of its sexual conduct policy in May to no longer include specific reference to "homosexual acts" and other acts of sexual immorality, many news organizations including NBC News, Time, Houston Chronicle and Jezebel may have led readers to believe the school is caving to societal pressures on same-sex marriage.
NBCNews.com ran a Wednesday article with a headline that reads "Baylor University No Longer Bans Homosexual Acts," While Houston Chronicle points out in its headline that "Baylor University drops ban on 'homosexual acts.'" Jezebel's headline goes even further, stating "'Homosexual Acts' Are Now Allowed At Baylor University." more >>
In a sermon which has ruffled some of his congregants and general critics alike since he delivered it last Wednesday, megachurch pastor Ron Carpenter Jr. of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina, says he believes people can be born predisposed to homosexuality but "Jesus can straighten" the iniquity.
"I believe much of homosexual activity is iniquity. Doctors don't believe it, they say they couldn't find a gene. Well, sin don't have a gene," said Carpenter in a recording of the sermon titled "Biblical Truth on Same-Sex Marriage" that was posted to YouTube. The sermon is almost 1 hour and 20 minutes but he shared his personal thoughts beginning at the 1 hour 12-minute mark of the video.
"You can't open up somebody's body and find sin. The Bible says iniquity travels three and four generations. The word 'iniquity' is not sin. The word 'iniquity' means bent or twisted and everybody is born bent toward something. So I disagree with a lot of people who say you can't be born that way, if it's an iniquity you can be," said Carpenter. more >>
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 >>
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 >>
Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure sparred with ABC's "The View" co-host Raven-Symone in an episode Tuesday in which she defended Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein who were recently ordered to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple for refusing to bake a cake for the Sapphic couple's wedding.
"I don't think this is discrimination at all. This is about freedom of association," said Cameron Bure, 39, in a clip from the show posted to YouTube. "It's about constitutional rights. It's about First Amendment rights. We do have the right to still choose who we associate with."
"[The bakery] didn't refuse to bake the cake because of [the couple's] sexual orientation," she continued. "In fact, they baked cakes for them previously. They had a problem with the actual ceremony because that — the ceremony — is what conflicted with their religious beliefs. They are saying that they stand for marriage between a man and a woman." more >>