A Florida couple who claim to be devout Christians and lovers of exercise say they are joyfully spreading the love of Christ and the Bible through their unconventional wife-swapping and fitness ministry. The wife says she doesn't believe swinging is wrong, but if it is, she'll find out on judgement day.
Dean, 49, and Cristy Parave, 44, revealed in an interview with Barcroft TV posted to YouTube Thursday that they believe the community of fitness swingers they've created and promote on Facebook is "God's plan."
"I feel like right now this is God's plan," said Cristy to Barcroft TV. "The Bible doesn't talk about swinging, specifically. ... I just feel like, as a married couple, if you agree on something together then it's OK. If it's not, like I said, judgment day, I'll find that out." more >>
This week my denomination, through its executive committee, voted to "disfellowship" a congregation in California that has acted to affirm same-sex sexual relationships. This sad but necessary move is hardly surprising, since this network of churches shares a Christian sexual ethic with all orthodox Christians of every denomination for 2,000 years. One of the arguments made by some, though, is that this is hypocritical since so many ministers in our tradition marry people who have been previously divorced.
The argument is that conservative Protestants already embrace a "third way" because we've done so on divorce. Couples divorce, sometimes remarry others, and yet are welcomed within the congregation. We don't necessarily affirm this as good, but we receive these people with mercy and grace. Why not, the argument goes, do the same with homosexuality.
The charge of hypocrisy is valid in some respects. I've argued for years and repeatedly that Southern Baptists and other evangelicals are slow-motion sexual revolutionaries, embracing elements of the sexual revolution twenty or thirty years behind the rest of the culture. This is to our shame, and the divorce culture is the number-one indicator of this capitulation. The preaching on divorce has been muted and hesitating all too often in our midst. Sometimes this is due to what the Bible calls "fear of man," ministers and leaders afraid of angering divorced people (or their relatives) in power in congregations. Sometimes it's due to the fact that divorce simply seems all too normal in this culture; it doesn't shock us anymore. more >>
Joran Van der Sloot's pregnant wife has broken her silence about marrying a convicted murderer, who she insists is "not a monster," but a loving man looking forward to the birth of his first child.
Leidy Figueroa fell in love with Van der Sloot during a trip to visit another inmate. The couple continued speaking and eventually got engaged, then married … all behind prison bars in Peru. Van der Sloot was convicted of murdering Stephany Flores in 2010 and is serving a 28-year sentence. He is also a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American high school student Natalee Holloway.
"Many people judge Joran and criticize him, saying he is a monster and an assassin, but when you get to know him, you know he is different," Figueroa told MailOnline. "I want to show he's not a monster. He's changed a lot—he's a gentle, sensitive, kind person and I love him. I know he has killed, but he is now paying for what he did. He is asking God for forgiveness and praying every day." more >>
"19 Kids & Counting" star Jessa Duggar and fiancé Ben Seewald are ready to exchange vows, thanks in part to the hard work of their large families.
"I am super excited," Jessa told People. "Everybody has really been pitching in."
The soon-to-be bride and groom will stand before God and their families and friends on Nov. 1 to say "I do." They have had a short engagement and have been incredibly busy planning the wedding, but both had plenty of support and help from their families. Earlier this month, Jessa said that she was planning to save money by reusing some of the decorations from sister Jill's wedding. more >>
The British press just reported the result of a new study by academics from Oxford and the University of London that children raised in stable marital homes are better behaved than classmates brought up by unmarried parents. Children raised by married parents show lower levels of anti-social attitudes and hyperactivity.
Recent U.S. surveys show that the U.S. taxpayers' money appropriated to "close the gap" between higher-achieving and lower-achieving students has failed to achieve this goal. Contrary to conventional wisdom, poverty is not the principal cause of the gap, but whether or not children grow up in a family with their own mom and pop compared to kids who lack that advantage.
When the famous French commentator Alexis de Tocqueville traveled the U.S. in the mid-19th century, he wrote: "There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated." Our society of nuclear families produced a prosperous middle class that was the envy of the world. more >>
The number of legally married same-sex couples has increased considerably over the span of a year, but they remain a very small minority compared to opposite-sex married couples.
In a report from the U.S. Census, the number of legally married same-sex couple households increased from approximately 182,000 in 2012 to approximately 252,000 in 2013.