Pope Francis married 20 couples at the St.Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Sunday, in an effort to have the Catholic Church become more forgiving in its view on premarital issues as some were already living together and had children.
The Vatican views individuals, who have had sex outside marriage as being in sin, but Pope Francis emphasized that the church needed to be inclusive and open to accepting them.
"This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man. Here we see the reciprocity of differences," the Pope said, reports the National Catholic Reporter. more >>
"Submission never means abuse," Pastor Tony Evans told his Dallas, Texas, congregation on Sunday, making it clear what he believes the Christian position is on domestic violence.
"We've been hearing about one kind of struggle here lately — domestic abuse," said Evans, referring to recent news headlines concerning Ray Rice, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after being caught on tape punching his wife.
"Ladies, you do not have to submit yourself to any man abusing you. You do not submit yourself," he added. "No man has the right to put his hands on him. You shouldn't be putting your hands on him either, but no man has the right to put his hands on you in a violent fashion." more >>
The advocacy group "Evangelicals for Marriage Equality" responded to recent criticism from Christians arguing against the recognition of same-sex marriage by saying supporters of EME are not compromising Christian beliefs and are instead focused specifically on gay unions receiving the same government recognition and rights as traditional married couples do.
"We've been very clear in our Statement of Belief that it's not our intent to water down our faith or compromise our deeply-held Christian beliefs," EME spokesman Brandan Robertson told The Christian Post. "That's why we've focused specifically on government recognition of same-sex relationships — bestowing the same rights (e.g. hospital visitation, funeral preparation) and tax treatments on a committed same-sex relationship as we do on opposite sex relationships."
Asked to respond to an op-ed by Andrew T. Walker, director of Policy Studies for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in which he wrote that no "real arguments" were made to support same-sex marriages, Robertson said Walker was misinformed. more >>
Cohabitating before marriage is a short-term solution for what God designed to be a long-term relationship, says a South Carolina-based blogger and writer for NewSpring Church.
John Weirick asked readers if they would buy a car without first taking it for a test drive, as some couples use that comparison to justify moving in together before marriage. He then emphasized that God has greater plans in store for a relationship between an unmarried couple than cohabitating, and splitting rent and groceries.
"A great love relationship goes beyond knowing each other well or ensuring compatibility," Weirick asserted. "What keeps a relationship strong isn't whether a couple lived together before getting married, but their commitment to Jesus and to each other." more >>
Reaction to the launch earlier this week of a group calling itself "Evangelicals for Marriage Equality" heralded by an op-ed in TIME by its spokesman, was met with harsh criticism from some Christians, including the assertion that no "real arguments" were made to support same-sex marriages.
"I eagerly await the young evangelical that finally convinces me that the Bible and human history are wrong on marriage and that justice requires that both Christianity and society bestow marriage on same-sex relationships," wrote Andrew T. Walker, director of Policy Studies for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Walker responded to EME spokesman Brandan Robertson's piece in which he explains why the initiative for evangelicals to support "civil marriage equality" was launched, with his own op-ed the next day in TIME, "An Evangelical Defense of Traditional Marriage." more >>
In this story from New Zealand, two male friends (who are not gay, by the way) are about to marry each other.
Part of their motive:
Engineering student Travis McIntosh, 23, and teacher Matt McCormick, 24, will tie the knot to win a "The Edge" radio station competition and a trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. more >>