Bill Mefford, an official of the General Board of Church & Society of the United Methodist Church, posted a response on social media dismissing the teachings of Jesus Christ on human sexuality, following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last month.
Mefford posted on the Facebook page of Maxie Dunnam, president emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary, where Mefford celebrated and confused the Supreme Court's ruling with the Holy Spirit. Mefford told Dunnam, "I never have asked Jesus to define marriage."
Dunnam, a United Methodist himself and outspoken proponent of a Christian understanding of marriage, posted on social media declaring "Jesus, not the Supreme Court, defines marriage for the Church." more >>
Last Thursday, the seven-member jury in the trial pitting the $280 million Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) against the small Jewish non-profit, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), found JONAH guilty of 17 out of 20 counts of consumer fraud.
According to deliberation instructions from Judge Peter Bariso, the jury was instructed to consider: 1) Did JONAH make "misrepresentations in connection with the sale, advertisement, or the subsequent performance" of its counseling program; and 2) Did they engage in "unconscionable commercial practices in connection with the sale, advertisement, or the subsequent performance of the JONAH Program"?
SPLC claimed that JONAH misrepresented homosexuality as a mental disorder and committed consumer fraud by claiming its program was capable of providing effective scientific (not just religious or spiritual) treatment to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA). SPLC also argued that JONAH misrepresented the program by using "success" statistics in advertising when there was no factual basis for calculating such figures, and that JONAH misrepresented its program as being capable of helping clients go from "gay" to "straight" in two to five years. more >>
Jon Lovett, a former White House speech writer to President Barack Obama, claimed at last week's Aspen Ideas Festival that he performed a secret same-sex wedding at the White House.
Lovett believes Obama had no knowledge of the secret and rushed same-sex ceremony and believes his then boss would not have approved of the event.
While the recording of Lovett's talk is not yet available, Mike Allen of Politico reported Lovett's comments which took place during "The Moth Radio Hour" podcast at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Lovett claims it was the first same-sex marriage at the White House. more >>
About 20 years ago, I was spending time with David Wilkerson in New York City when a storm unexpectedly broke out as we were leaving a building. Sure enough, in true New York fashion, there was someone right outside the door selling umbrellas, and as expected, pastor Dave bought one to keep us dry in the showers. In fact, just about everyone seemed to buy one as they walked outside into the sudden downpour.
I feel like that umbrella salesman today, except that for years now, I've been selling these umbrellas in the desert, knowing that a massive storm was coming and that soon enough, the umbrellas would become hot items.
What exactly do I mean? more >>
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent an official letter to its followers on Sunday announcing that it will continue supporting marriage as a union between one man and one woman, despite the Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage in June. The church also noted that it will not be performing gay marriage ceremonies, and argued that homosexual behavior "violates the commandments of God."
"Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife," the church declares.
The letter from the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was written a few days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down four state constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman on June 26, which effectively legalized gay marriage across all 50 states. The message was sent out to Mormon churches across the country and read aloud during Sunday services. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham has spoken out against what he calls an "outright attack" on freedom of speech after Oregon's Bureau of Labor & Industries Commissioner Brad Avakin upheld an earlier ruling that forces Christian bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 for refusing to participate in a lesbian wedding.
"Give me a break. In my opinion, this couple should pay the Kleins $135,000 for all they've been through," Graham wrote on Facebook on Sunday.
"Even more outrageous is that Avakian has also now ordered the Kleins to 'cease and desist' from speaking publicly about not wanting to bake cakes for same-sex weddings based on their Christian beliefs. This is an outright attack on their #freedomofspeech," he added. more >>