Officials in Oregon have started a legal process to seize $135,000 from Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein after they refused to pay the state-ordered damages for declining to bake a cake for a lesbian marriage ceremony.
"Our agency has docketed the judgment and is exploring collection options," Charlie Burr, communications director at Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, told The Daily Signal. "They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order."
It's a preliminary step to seize the Kleins' house, property, or other assets in lieu of payment. more >>
*When I use the term "gay Christian" in this article, I am not referring to people who struggle with homosexual feelings but strive not to act out on them because of their belief that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior. When I say "gay Christian," I am referring to people who say they're Christians but also accept their homosexual feelings as a good part of their human experience and have no problem engaging in monogamous, committed, same-sex relationships.*
Earlier this week I was interviewed on what some would call a "liberal" Christian podcast. I was initially hesitant when they asked me to come on, but after some prayer I agreed to accept because 1) the hosts are spectacular and friendly guys, even if some of their biblical perspectives may not align with mine, and 2) I knew there would probably be a lot of gay Christians* who would listen to the interview. This was a fantastic opportunity to engage those on the other side of the theological fence — something I'm always down to do.
As I anticipated, a massive chunk of our discussion was centered on the concept of gay Christians. One of the questions they asked me was (I'm paraphrasing), "Do you think a person's decision to embrace their homosexuality invalidates their Christian faith?" more >>
N. T. Wright is one of the most world's foremost New Testament scholars, a sober-minded man not given to extreme rhetoric. Yet when it came to the question of redefining marriage, Wright did not hold back, explaining how dangerous it is to change the fundamental meaning of words:
"When anybody — pressure groups, governments, civilizations — suddenly change the meaning of key words, you really should watch out. If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying 'N.S.,' meaning National Socialist or Nazi. The Nazis gave those words a certain meaning. In post-1917 Russia, there were whole categories of people who were called 'former persons,' because by the Communist diktat they had ceased to be relevant for the state, and once you call them former persons it was extremely easy to ship them off somewhere and have them killed."
He continued, "It's like a government voting that black should be white. Sorry, you can vote that if you like, you can pass it by a total majority, but it isn't actually going to change the reality." more >>
Pope Francis spoke about religious freedom, government officials and gay marriage in response to a reporter's question. He also met county clerk and gay marriage dissenter Kim Davis during his trip to Washington, D.C. The following is a transcript of those remarks followed by a Vatican statement regarding his meeting with Kim Davis.
The Sept. 27 interview occurred during a Q&A with reporters on his flight home from the United States. The question came from ABC's Terry Moran.
The Vatican has clarified that despite the much-publicized private meeting between Pope Francis and Kentucky clerk Kim Davis last week in Washington, D.C., the meeting should not be equated to the pontiff giving his support for Davis' position on refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
"The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects," wrote Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office, in a statement released by the Vatican on Friday.
Lombardi added that Davis was only one of several dozen people the pope privately met during his week in the U.S., and it would be incorrect to read too much into the brief encounters. more >>
This blog post I wrote a year ago has been getting a bit of attention lately. You know, the one where I "came out" about my attraction to a certain woman.
The content was absolutely truthful and I'm not one bit regretful over publishing it. I firmly and joyfully stand by every word I wrote. However, the feedback I'm getting really makes me want to take a couple of minutes to be clear on one thing: I have not been "healed of homosexuality" or developed a "heterosexual orientation", as people like to phrase it.
Most of my readers know that for the majority of my life I've dealt with homosexual feelings. Those feelings didn't disappear when I became a Christian in 2010 and still have not disappeared as I now enter into my sixth year of following Jesus. more >>