Since Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church first began receiving extensive media coverage for its public and coarse denouncement of homosexuals, and picketing funerals and churches, members of the Southern Baptist denominaton have been quick to draw the line between themselves and the unaffiliated church.
With 15 million members, the Southern Baptist denomination is the second-largest faith group in the United States, behind Roman Catholicism.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, provided an example to The Associated Press in a recent interview to make the distinction between Phelps and the Southern Baptist denomination by comparing the group to the "Book of Mormon." more >>
While applauding young evangelicals who have taken up causes such as opposition to injustice regarding the poor, the orphaned, and the enslaved, and who have helped increased awareness of such issues as sex trafficking and world starvation, Pastor David Platt said he is concerned about the lack of enthusiasm among some Christians on other issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
"I'm concerned for lack of zeal, not exclusively, but particularly among young evangelicals on social issues that are just as, if not in some ways much more important like abortion and sexual immorality, and so-called same-sex marriage," Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., preached at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on Thursday. "On some of these issues, younger evangelical Christians [and] prominent church leaders are often strangely quiet."
Platt observed, "We live in a day that we can be passionate in our stand against poverty and slavery, injustice that we need to stay passionately against, but issues that don't bring us into conflict with the culture around us." more >>
Editor's Note: Leading into an important conference on mental health and the role of the Church hosted by Pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, at Saddleback Church, The Christian Post is offering special focus on the topic. CP plans to continue this coverage including reporting on The Gathering on Mental Health on March 28.
Dr. Matthew Stanford, a Baylor University professor of psychology who studies the intersection of the Church and mental health, will be one of the experts addressing attendees at the conference. Stanford has taught at Baylor since 2003 and serves as the director of the Mental Health Grace Alliance. He's the author of Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness and The Biology of Sin Grace, Hope and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped.
A federal judge ruled Friday that a ban on same-sex marriage in Michigan violates the U.S. Constitution and therefore must be quashed. The ruling was seen by some as the latest example of "a single federal judge deciding that he knows better than the people" of a state.
In a 31-page ruling, Judge Bernard A. Friedman of Federal District Court stated, "The Court finds that the [ban] impermissibly discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the provision does not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest."
One couple has already married following the court ruling. Glenna DeJong, 53, and Marsha Caspar, 52, of Lansing received their marriage license Saturday morning, according to USA Today. more >>
Catholic League President Bill Donohue said that he will not be marching in New York City's gay pride parade with a "straight is great" banner as he initially requested, after objecting to the organizers' rules.
"For the past few days I have been engaged in an e-mail conversation with officials from the Heritage of Pride parade, New York's annual gay event; the dialogue has been cordial. I asked to join the parade under a banner that would read, "Straight is Great." The purpose of my request was to see just how far they would go without forcing me to abide by their rules. It didn't take long before they did," Donohue explained in a statement on Friday, following a request for comments by The Christian Post.
"Today, I informed Heritage of Pride officials that I objected to their rule requiring me to attend gay training sessions, or what they call 'information' sessions. 'I don't agree with your rule,' I said. They responded by saying that attendance was 'mandatory.'" more >>
An ex-gay ministry purported to be the largest in Australia has recently announced that it will cease operations.
In a letter sent to supporters last week, Living Waters Australia Director Ron Brookman wrote that "it is time to wind up the ministry."
"There is nobody who has been identified, trained, or who is willing to take up leadership … It seems that the Lord is preparing to do something new in bringing healing to the broken," wrote Brookman. more >>