Two bills have been introduced for the next Florida legislative session that would protect churches who refuse to perform gay weddings from potential legal action.
Filed earlier this week and scheduled to be considered during the 2016 session, the identical Senate Bill 110 and House Bill 43 offer legal protection for any church or ministry who refuses to perform a same-sex wedding.
"A church or religious organization, an organization supervised or controlled by or in connection with a church or religious organization, an individual employed by a church or religious organization while acting in the scope of that employment, or a clergy member or minister may not be required to solemnize any marriage or provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, or celebration of any marriage if such an action would cause the church, organization, or individual to violate a sincerely held religious belief," read the bills' text. more >>
Bishop T.D. Jakes has clarified that his method of ministering to gay people who choose to attend The Potter's House church was "evolving" and said he does not endorse same-sex marriage, after a recent HuffPost Live interview led some viewers to believe he had "shifted" in his biblical convictions regarding human sexuality and marriage.
Christians and Americans in general remain divided in their opinions on the morality of homosexuality and the legality of same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court's ruling in June effectively affirming same-sex marriage as a constintutional right has not bridged the divide.
"Currently, 54 percent of Americans say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, with 39 percent opposed. In May, 57 percent favored legalizing same-sex marriage, while 39 percent opposed," the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank, reported on July 29. more >>
Bishop T.D. Jakes,
With real interest, I watched your interview with Marc Hill, and the one thing that was clear was that you did not answer with clarity.
Given your stature as one of the most influential Christian leaders in the country, and given the fact that headlines now read, "T.D. Jakes Comes Out for 'Gay Marriage' and 'LGBT Churches,' Says Position is 'Evolving'," and, "Bishop T.D. Jakes says Black church changing stance on LGBT community," I appeal to you to remove all ambiguity and state clearly what you believe. more >>
First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, a 2,600-member Pennsylvania congregation, may depart from Presbyterian Church (USA) over the denomination's increasing acceptance of homosexuality.
In June, First Presbyterian's leadership decided to begin the process of discernment to possibly seek dismissal from PC(USA).
In a letter sent out to members on June 16, the Session for First Presbyterian explained the decision to begin the discernment process, with leadership supporting dismissal from the Mainline denomination in a vote of 19-1. more >>
The two gay men at the center of a controversy regarding their involvement with popular and influential Hillsong Church insist they have been open about their relationship from the very beginning, and "have been in conversation with Hillsong NYC's lead pastors regarding the church's non-LGBT affirming stance."
"The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC," reads a public statement written by Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, the gay couple highlighted in a viral blog post critical of their involvement with the megachurch.
"Josh has been with Hillsong for eight years in a variety of ways: choir director, vocal director, and worship team. I've been there since the beginning of our relationship, over three years ago, and eventually began singing in the choir and opening my apartment as the gathering place for a connect group for Hillsong members in the Broadway and theatrical communities," the statement continues. more >>
A new book, which is landing in bookstores today, warns that we are headed for a new Dark Ages. "Persecution [is] coming to the church soon," the author warns. "It's going to happen as a result of conflicts over sex." He predicts that "the break in the wall is the tax exemption" churches now enjoy. If churches refuse to "marry" homosexual couples, they will lose their exemption.
Who is the author of these predictions? None other than Chuck Colson, who went home to the Lord more than three years ago. That's three years before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex "marriage" — something biologically impossible, by the way.
The book is titled My Final Word: Holding Tight to the Issues that Matter Most. It's a collection of never-before published memos that Chuck sent to his writing staff, reporters, even presidential candidates who wanted his advice. And as the examples I just cited illustrates, Chuck's writings are incredibly prophetic. more >>