Within the past couple weeks, three separate national polls have been conducted on the issue of same-sex marriage. Interestingly, each of these three polls shows a decline in support for it. Both Ipsos/Reuters and Gallup conducted polls in early July — just days after the Supreme Court handed its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Both polls found a slight decline in the percentage of Americans who support same-sex marriage as compared to previous polls that each firm conducted earlier this spring.
Additionally, a third poll by the AP found that only 42 percent of Americans support same sex marriage. This is a decline of 6 points from the organization's last poll on the issue in April. It also found a significant increase in percentage of people — 59 percent in June vs. only 52 percent in April — who said wedding-related businesses with religious objections should be allowed to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples.
These findings are more significant than many observers realize. Historically, Supreme Court rulings tend legitimize certain policies in the eyes of the public — foror instance, good data from the General Social Survey (GSS) indicates that there were gains in support for legal abortion after the Roe v. Wade decision. It is interesting that support for same sex marriage did not increase in the days after the Obergefell decision. more >>
Days after it was announced that Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, would be fined $135,000 for declining to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, Jesse Bartholomew, a self-identified gay baker, slammed the LGBT community for "bullying" and "being a Nazi."
"I cannot tell you how disgusted I am with my fellow gay and lesbian community — that they would stoop so low to force someone to bake a cake for them who simply doesn't agree with them," said Bartholomew in a just over 2-minute video posted on his Facebook page on July 9. "They don't have to bake a cake for you."
Bartholomew explained that he felt it was "stupid" to force someone to make a cake for an event that was so personal. more >>
I say with lament, not malice, that Julie Rodgers' defection from orthodox sexual ethics has been in the making for some time. For those reading the warning signs along the way, it was not a great shock to read on July 13 that she no longer believed that homosexual relations were wrong. It was less of a surprise to read that, given that change of mind, she had immediately resigned from her job at Wheaton caring for students with same-sex attractions. All the same, these developments were sad occasion for many of us.
For me personally, a discussion of this regrettable step breaks down into two parts: (1) a partial narrative of what I knew about Julie leading up to her resignation; and (2) my response to the defense she gave for her change of mind.
I think that I first became acquainted with Julie Rodgers in the first months before the late-June 2013 Exodus conference, where Julie was to be a plenary speaker on the last day. I read a noteworthy Nov., 2012, post by Julie on the Exodus blog, called Making Room: A Shift toward Compassion. There were missteps in her presentation. Chief among them were her support of Exodus president Alan Chambers' discouragement of SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts); and not addressing the daily necessity of combatting a false sexual narrative (more on that later). more >>
A few days ago I shared a YouTube video with a young father detailing the effects of the gay agenda on children in other countries that are further "down the road" than we are in America. He was utterly shocked as well as sobered, realizing where we are headed.
At the end of this commentary I will give you the YouTube site. I'd like to challenge you to watch the video and realize what is coming, barring a spiritual awakening in our country. After the Supreme Court ruling on homosexual "marriage," we've entered hostile territory and we need to be prepared. And I'm not being a "Debbie Downer" by citing this!
Larry Tomczak is not a pessimist. I am an optimist, but also a realist. I am also not a doomsayer focusing exclusively on negative reports, but neither am I a "Pollyanna" avoiding negative developments so I'll be popular and perceived solely as upbeat and positive while emphasizing the American revival some are seeing that I personally don't (although I fervently pray for it regularly). We have to see church-wide repentance first for our apathy that got us where we are. more >>
I'm sure there are pastors, evangelists, and Christian leaders who have gotten rich off the gospel, but they are few and far between, and the idea that many of us are in the ministry for the sake of money is simply a myth.
Still, almost every day, I'll receive hate mail like this: "Stop lying in order to sell your hate filled book using the media to spew that ugliness within you"; and, "What a disgusting excuse for a human being. You want to lash out & persecute the LGBT community but you sure don't mind making money off of them in your book. The only thing you seem to know about God is that His name is printed on the dollar bill."
Why do people have this notion that people go into ministry to make money? And where do they get the idea that there's a lot of money to be made in writing books for a Christian audience? more >>
Part 1 of this series can be read here.
From my adolescent years of struggling secretly with same sex attraction to my young adult years of unashamedly embracing my same sex desires, the only message I heard from the Church was, "Come to Jesus and he'll make you straight." The churchy-religious culture I grew up in was adamant about the wrongness of homosexuality and obnoxiously insistent that if gays would just turn from their bad "choices" and trust in Jesus, they would become straight.
Little did they know, though, I had already tried all that out. more >>