For any church to function, it needs to have a certain level of basic doctrinal and moral standards (especially for ordained clergy and others in leadership), some clear policies followed with some degree of consistency, and a culture in which members can trust that those set aside for ordained pastoral leadership will have enough integrity to be men and women who keep their own word.
Yet now a wealthy unofficial caucus group is actually offering to pay United Methodist clergy who break their ordination vows.
My denomination's rulebook, the Book of Discipline, rather explicitly requires ordained United Methodist clergy to commit to a Christian lifestyle of abstaining from sexual relations outside of monogamous, man-woman marriage, and requires that no one gets fully ordained until they have vowed before God and the church that they personally believe, "[a]fter full examination" that the UMC's official doctrines "are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures," that they personally "approve" of our denomination's rules, and that they will "support and maintain" these rules. As readers are well aware by now, these UMC rules they vow to "support and maintain" include clear bans on "ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions." more >>
The American Family Association, a Christian activist organization, has started a boycott against Planet Fitness gyms because of its "all-inclusive" policy that allows self-reporting transgenders to use locker and shower rooms designated for the opposite sex.
The AFA launched a movement on Tuesday calling on members of Planet Fitness, which has over 900 locations nationwide, to drop their gym memberships and email or call the CEO, Chris Rondeau, to inform him that the company's "all-inclusive" transgender locker room policy puts women and girls in danger.
Randy Sharp, AFA's director of special projects, appeared on Bryan Fischer's "Focal Point" show on American Family Radio to discuss the boycott. He said it's important that franchise owners feel the financial impact of enforcing such a "bad policy." more >>
A woman raised by two mothers has spoken out about her experience and how she wants all children to be raised by a mother and a father, that gay marriage is hurting children.
Heather Barwick wrote a letter to the gay community entitled "Your Kids Are Hurting," in which she described that she missed out on being raised by her father after her mother left him for a woman she loved. And even though Barwick wrote that she felt like "gay people are my people," she had words to say: "I don't support gay marriage."
"Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn't matter. That it's all the same. But it's not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father's absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad," Barwick explained in her letter published by The Federalist. "I loved my mom's partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost." more >>
The Oklahoma state House of Representatives passed legislation that will require couples looking to get married to seek approval from a clergy member in order for them to be married in the state.
The bill which was introduced in January by Republican Rep. Todd Russ and was passed by the House last Tuesday would change the language of the state's law that governs the duties of court clerks, in which all references to marriage licenses would be thrown out.
The bill essentially separates the government from marriage by requiring that marriage certificates be signed by clergy members or other religious officials instead of county clerks or judges. After couples acquire a marriage certificate from the religious official, a record of it would be made by the clerk's office so that the marriage would be recognized by the state. more >>
A wedding videographer in Ohio could face legal action after she declined to shoot a lesbian couples' wedding ceremony because it would have conflicted with her biblical understanding that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.
When Jenn Moffitt and her partner Jerra Kincely were searching in February for a videographer to film their wedding, they sent an email inquiry to a local video production company called Next Door Stories in Bexley, Ohio, a town in the Columbus suburbs.
The California Supreme Court has instituted a policy that prohibits state judges from participating in the Boy Scouts of America because it doesn't allow openly gay adults to become troop leaders.
California Bans Judges From Participating in Boy Scouts Over Its Policy Prohibiting Gay Troop Leaders
Earlier this year the court voted unanimously to change the California Code of Judicial Ethics, removing an exemption allowing membership in youth organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, that it claims practice discrimination. more >>