Last week, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Pastor Brian Houston, founder of the Hillsong movement (which now has congregations in California and New York), "Can your pastors preside at same-sex marriages?"
Pastor Houston replied (in part), "It can be challenging for churches to stay relevant. Because many mainstream churches upheld what they would believe is the long established view of what the Bible says about homosexuality. But the world has changed around and about them. . . ."
He continued, "So the world's changing and we want to stay relevant as a church. So that's a vexing thing. You think, 'How do we not become a pariah?'" more >>
Feeling confused about the Houston sermon subpoena scandal? Here are answers to five questions you may have.
Q: What happened?
A: In May, Houston city government passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) to ban discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity. After passage, opponents began collecting signatures to add a ballot measure to repeal the new law. more >>
Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney Feldman, you have gone too far, and your bullying will backfire. The pastors of Houston, joined by Christian leaders across the country, will not be intimidated and they will not back down.
Earlier this week, Americans were outraged and shocked to learn that the city of Houston issued subpoenas to several local pastors, demanding to inspect their sermons, speeches, presentations, and communications to their congregations having anything to do with homosexuality or gender identity.
Stop bullying people of faith. That's the bottom line of a harshly worded letter written by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to Houston City Attorney David Feldman.
Feldman's office sent subpoenas to five Houston pastors last month demanding that they turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality and gender identity issues. They also wanted sermons or correspondence that referenced Annise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian mayor.
The subpoenas were issued in a response to a lawsuit related to Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), also known as the "Bathroom Bill." more >>
This week the country learned that in the politically red state of Texas is the liberal, blue city of Houston, which is led by Mayor Annise Parker, an avowed lesbian.
In May, Mayor Parker rammed through the city council a controversial transgender rights measure called the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), otherwise known as the "bathroom bill." It would allow men who self identify as females to use the women's bathroom and vice versa. Obviously, the ordinance was controversial and five local pastors mounted a successful campaign to gather 50,000 signatures to oppose the measure. This was more than three times the number of signatures necessary to force a voter referendum on the ordinance.
Despite the overwhelming number of signatures gathered, the Houston city attorney dismissed the petitions claiming that there were "irregularities." Thereafter, a lawsuit was filed by four citizens outraged at such disregard for public sentiment. A court date has been set for January 19, 2015 to decide this matter. more >>
Several years ago, the Israeli satirical series, Latma, produced this funny sketch on the Iranian mullahs' push for a nuclear bomb. "The bomb, the bomb, I'll get the bomb. Listen to me, Honey, it ain't gonna be too long" sings the frolicking mullah in the online version of this humorous look at a most serious subject.
The Israelis can joke about an Iranian nuclear bomb because they are on the front line. They know what it would mean. They don't go on and on about "stability" in the Middle East the way our State Department types do. There hasn't been stability in the Mideast in our lifetime and there is no likelihood of stability being achieved there in the future. All the Western journalists' gushing about the "Arab Spring" has produced not one country with a semblance of stability, freedom, or genuine change.
Egypt has settled down for the moment into a familiar pattern of military dictatorship. more >>