Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI at the close of the contentious Synod on the Family. Pope Francis will not be "progressing" toward some new day of sexual freedom. He is "sealing the deal" on Church teaching on contraception by beatifying Paul VI. And in so doing, Pope Francis, like Paul VI, is defending the rights of the poor and vulnerable.
For Paul VI is the author of the 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Paul VI dashed any hope, inside or outside of the Catholic Church, about a "new day dawning" on the subject of contraception. In spite of all the wishful thinking among the rich and powerful of our time, the Catholic Church will not be changing its position on the highly contested moral issues now, either.
Humanae Vitae was prophetic. Against all the "winds of change," against the rich, the beautiful and the important people of the 1960's claiming that contraception would solve the world's problems, Paul VI reiterated the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church. (In fact, the prohibition on contraception had been the universal teaching of all the Christian churches right up until the Lambeth Convention of the Anglican Church in 1930, but I digress.) In spite of all pressure arrayed in favor of artificial birth control, Paul VI predicted that this social experiment would end badly. more >>
Reparative therapy is a hot button, cultural topic that stirs deep rooted emotions for those on both sides. So we must be cautious not to reduce what Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty (ERLC) Commission, says about it into a sound bite.
Taken out of context, Moore's remarks to press at the ERLC's 2014 conference this week could very easily be used to totally denounce reparative therapy. But if you read all of Moore's statements, nowhere do you find him downright rejecting reparative therapy. Instead, he's putting it in its place on the hierarchy of healing.
According to Religion News Service, Moore told journalists, "The utopian idea if you come to Christ and if you go through our program, you're going to be immediately set free from attraction or anything you're struggling with, I don't think that's a Christian idea." Moore continued, "Faithfulness to Christ means obedience to Christ. It does not necessarily mean that someone's attractions are going to change." more >>
Houston Mayor Annise Parker has announced that she will withdraw the subpoenas against five pastors who have spoken out against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, an LGBT city ordinance that some opponents claim would allow men to use women's public restrooms.
"After much contemplation and discussion, I am directing the city legal department to withdraw the subpoenas issued to the five Houston pastors who delivered the petitions, the anti-HERO petitions, to the city of Houston and who indicated that they were responsible for the overall petition effort," Parker said during Wednesday's press conference.
"It is extremely important to me to protect our equal rights ordinance from repeal, and it is extremely important to me to make sure that every Houstonian knows that their lives are valid and protected and acknowledged," added Parker, who's the city's first openly-gay mayor. more >>
A large Texas congregation that recently decided to disaffiliate from the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States over its increasing acceptance of homosexuality is suing to keep its property.
Windwood Presbyterian Church of Houston has been waging a legal battle to not have to pay to keep their church property after having left Presbyterian Church (USA) earlier this year.
Country music icon Dolly Parton recently gave an interview in which she explained that she "loved and accepted" her lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fans and urged fellow Christians not to judge anyone.
Parton was asked how she felt about the iconic Dollywood being a place that attracts all types of fans from church groups, to gays and lesbians. She reacted with a message for Christians.
"It's a place for entertainment, a place for all families, period," Parton told Billboard Magazine of Dollywood. "It's for all that. But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they're already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody." more >>
Almost 20 years ago, I was speaking with an older Jewish couple who seemed very close to putting their faith in Jesus as Messiah, but they were not 100 percent sure.
I said to them, "Later this week I'm debating an Orthodox rabbi. Why not come to the debate to hear both sides of the issue, and then you can make an informed decision?"
Thankfully, they came to the event, they listened with open hearts and minds, and by God's grace, they came to faith. more >>