Recently, my colleague Eric Metaxas told you about how the city of Lynn, Massachusetts, no longer will allow student teachers from Gordon College to teach or mentor inner city students.
Why? Because Gordon's president dared to sign a letter to the President requesting that religious institutions be exempt from federal gay rights laws. The city's outrageous and shortsighted action brings more harm to its inner city students, who are now without mentors, than it does Gordon College. But the same cannot be said about the latest challenge the college is facing in fallout from the letter.
In late September, the higher education committee of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the body that accredits Gordon, met to consider whether Gordon's inclusion of homosexual acts as a "forbidden practice" ran afoul of the Association's standards for accreditation. Note that the Gordon statement requires all students to adhere to sexual behavior standards. There's no singling out of same-sex attracted folks, nor are there any prohibitions against admitting students with same-sex attraction. The stance has to do with sexual behavior, which falls in line with two millennia of Christian teaching. more >>
Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops on the family heard from a married couple who asked Catholic parishes to welcome same-sex couples as a model of evangelization, and at the same time uphold traditional church teachings on marriage.
"The church constantly faces the tension of upholding the truth while expressing compassion and mercy. Families face this tension all the time," Ron and Mavis Pirola of Sydney told the synod on Monday, Catholic News Service reported.
"Take homosexuality as an example. Friends of ours were planning their Christmas family gathering when their gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home too. They fully believed in the church's teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in three (sic) words, 'He is our son.'" more >>
Mike Overd, a street preacher in the United Kingdom, is facing three charges of "causing offense," a violation of Section 5 of the Public Order Act for public remarks comparing Jesus Christ and the Muslim prophet Muhammad, whom he said had married a 9-year-old girl.
Overd has argued that his comments about Muhammad were not intended to be hateful, as his speech included, "a simple comparison and it was factual."
"I have no hatred of Muslims in me at all and only preach the truth of the Gospel. Recently a Muslim man came to my defense when I was preaching and a local shopkeeper started to shout at me," said Overd, who's been a street preacher for five years and has evangelised in Glasgow, Scotland, and Sheffield, Manchester and Taunton, England. more >>
Monday's unexpected Supreme Court ruling not to get involved in the national debate over same-sex marriage is expected to eventually bring the number of states where gay marriage is legal to 30 as lower court rulings in support of the practice are allowed to stand.
Conservative groups criticized the Court's decision for letting stand lower court decisions that overturned state-level marriage laws approved by voters in those states.
Prior to Monday's decision, 19 states and Washington, D.C., permitted same-sex marriages. Highlighting the national picture on same-sex marriage, USA Today noted that the Supreme Court's decision on Monday left in place lower court rulings legalizing gay marriage in 11 additional states. more >>
An agreement has been reached regarding a formal complaint leveled against 36 United Methodist clergy and leaders who blessed a gay wedding in defiance of official church rules.
Last week, the UMC Eastern Pennsylvania Conference announced a "Just Resolution" made between the 36 clergy and leaders and the complainant.
A conference aimed at increasing awareness about the ex-gay community showcased the diversity of the movement in the United States, says one of its organizers.
Conservative groups including Voice of the Voiceless, the Family Research Council, and the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays held the second annual Ex-Gay Awareness Conference in Washington, D.C. Oct. 3-4.
Christopher Doyle, president and co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless, told The Christian Post that the event "was a great success." more >>