A United Methodist body approved proposed legislation that would, among other things, allow clergy to perform gay marriage ceremonies and local conferences to ordain non-celibate homosexuals.
The Connectional Table voted 26 to 10 in favor of proposed legislation that would allow clergy to perform gay weddings without concern of facing church discipline or to be "openly self-avowed practicing homosexuals."
While the proposal was passed by the Connectional Table, the General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking assembly, will determine if it becomes official policy when it meets next year in Oregon. more >>
A U.K. judge has ruled that a Christian-run bakery discriminated against gay customers when it refused to make a cake featuring the "Sesame Street" characters Bert and Ernie with a pro same-sex marriage slogan.
District Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled at Belfast County Court on Tuesday that Ashers Bakery, the defendants, "have unlawfully discriminated against the plaintiff on grounds of sexual discrimination," The Belfast Telegraph reported.
"This is direct discrimination for which there is no justification." more >>
President Barack Obama has been urged by the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, comprised of 700 pastors, not to "preach" and impose his views in support of same-sex marriage on the Kenyan people when he visits the African country in July.
"We would like to send a strong message to the U.S. president that the homosexuality debate should not become part of his agenda, as it has been his tendency whenever he comes to Africa," Bishop Mark Kariuki of the Evangelical Alliance, told the Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper on Monday.
"[Obama] should respect the faith, culture and people of Kenya when he comes in July," he added. "He should not put [homosexuality] as one of his main agenda[s] in the country." more >>
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a likely Republican presidential candidate, told David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network that Christian business owners should be able to legally deny services for same-sex weddings, and said traditional marriage is indispensable for America's success.
"Yes, absolutely, if it's based on a religious belief," Bush said when David Brody, CBN News Chief Political Correspondent, asked if he believes that Christian businesses should have that right.
"A big country, a tolerant country, ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs," Bush explained on "The Brody File" show aired Sunday. "This should not be that complicated. Gosh, it is right now." more >>
If there's one thing I've learned in my first five years of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ, it's that everything within the natural, fleshly part of myself violently resists his good rule over my life. The sin that dwells in me, while being stripped of its domineering power, is still very present, active and hostile to God. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, yes. The old has been washed away and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
But while the new has indeed come, it has not yet fully arrived. I am totally forgiven and have been irreversibly justified through the guilt-obliterating work of God's Son, but the fullness of what he's purchased for me has not yet been applied. I've been called and justified, but I will not be glorified and free from sin until the death of this mortal body is victoriously swallowed up by immortality (1 Cor. 15:54).
Every Christian reading this column finds themselves in the same "already, but not yet" stage of redemptive history that I find myself in. Jesus has come into the world and offered himself up as a fragrant offering to God on our behalf. When we trusted in him for the forgiveness of our sins, the Spirit of God sealed us and his transformative work in us has caused our affections to shift profoundly away from the sins we once loved and toward the God we once opposed. Yet . . . we still find something in ourselves that desires to oppose the God we now love and enjoy the sins we now hate. It's a very schizophrenic-ish experience, this whole Holy Spirit indwelling our fallen flesh thing. more >>
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people…" with these words our Declaration of Independence begins.
The signers continued by affirming "Nature's God," "self-evident truths" and our "Creator." Then our brave forefathers, putting their very lives on the line, ended their statement of convictions by declaring, "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
At another historic moment, a courageous leader named Nehemiah led the people of God in a similar pledge that is recorded in the Bible (Neh.10:28-39). They promised to uphold marriage as God intended (v30) and "obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our God" (v29). more >>