A parable is a simple story conveying a moral or spiritual lesson. We often don't like direct confrontation, thus God uses parables to open our eyes. Self examination is very healthy.
I recently heard a contemporary parable that is also a true story. A young girl, devastated by the choice her father made to leave her family for a younger woman, had a nightmare following his announcement. She dreamt that she, her mother and sister all died in a horrific car accident. When she told her dad about the dream, he simply replied, "I'm sorry to hear that. I'm glad it was only a dream." Her response searched his soul, "Dad, right before we were hit, I looked through the window and saw that you were driving the other car."
This broke the man. He repented and restored his marriage. Some of you reading this may need to examine yourself. This may be exactly what you're doing to your family. But pride and spiritual blindness are preventing you from seeing it (men and women). more >>
A diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences and the treatment of its bishop has passed a resolution barring gay marriage ceremonies from being performed at its facilities.
The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, a church body that broke away from the liberal mainline church in 2012, passed the resolution earlier this month at their convention.
Known as Resolution R-4, the document was titled "A Resolution to Adopt a Standing Resolution on Marriage" and was passed in response to the current debate over marriage definition in the United States. The resolution also states that the diocese will only host weddings for couples (one man and one woman) "whose birth gender identities were respectively male and female." more >>
Phaedra Parks, reality TV star of Bravo series "Real Housewives of Atlanta," recently revealed how a prayer helped connect her with One Church International's first lady, Sarah Jakes-Roberts, daughter of popular televangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Parks, an Atlanta attorney and cast member of "Real Housewives of Atlanta," let cameras film her dealing with the aftermath of crimes committed by her estranged husband, Apollo Nida, that have resulted in him being sent to prison. Nida is serving an eight-year prison sentence for bank theft and identity fraud charges, while Parks has been left to care for the pair's two young sons.
In the latest episode of the Bravo TV reality television series, Jakes-Roberts, the daughter of T.D. and Serita Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, appeared to help Parks deal with her problems in a healthy way. Sarah got married to Touré Roberts, the senior pastor of One Church International in Hollywood, last year. more >>
Religion News Service's Lauren Markoe authored a story yesterday on the Presbyterian Church (USA) decision to permit same-sex marriages and how, according to a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a majority of Mainline Protestants now support the practice.
At the same time, the article notes that the majority of church-affiliated Americans belong to denominations that forbid gay marriage, including Roman Catholics, most Baptists, Pentecostals, evangelicals and Mormons. Markoe also reports that Mainline Protestants have lost ground in recent decades to other denominations and to independent churches.
Accompanying the article is a denominational chart of same-sex marriage support, with some interesting inclusions – and omissions. Taken together, the missing churches constitute tens of millions of members – a significant slice of the U.S. religious pie – all on record opposing redefinition of marriage. Meanwhile, all denominations nationally and globally that support same-sex marriage are in a state of decline. more >>
For any church to function, it needs to have a certain level of basic doctrinal and moral standards (especially for ordained clergy and others in leadership), some clear policies followed with some degree of consistency, and a culture in which members can trust that those set aside for ordained pastoral leadership will have enough integrity to be men and women who keep their own word.
Yet now a wealthy unofficial caucus group is actually offering to pay United Methodist clergy who break their ordination vows.
My denomination's rulebook, the Book of Discipline, rather explicitly requires ordained United Methodist clergy to commit to a Christian lifestyle of abstaining from sexual relations outside of monogamous, man-woman marriage, and requires that no one gets fully ordained until they have vowed before God and the church that they personally believe, "[a]fter full examination" that the UMC's official doctrines "are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures," that they personally "approve" of our denomination's rules, and that they will "support and maintain" these rules. As readers are well aware by now, these UMC rules they vow to "support and maintain" include clear bans on "ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions." more >>
A woman raised by two mothers has spoken out about her experience and how she wants all children to be raised by a mother and a father, that gay marriage is hurting children.
Heather Barwick wrote a letter to the gay community entitled "Your Kids Are Hurting," in which she described that she missed out on being raised by her father after her mother left him for a woman she loved. And even though Barwick wrote that she felt like "gay people are my people," she had words to say: "I don't support gay marriage."
"Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn't matter. That it's all the same. But it's not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father's absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad," Barwick explained in her letter published by The Federalist. "I loved my mom's partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost." more >>