Today's mainstream culture assumes that people attracted to the same sex are born that way because the same sex attraction is something that comes naturally to them. They didn't choose it, they didn't will it, they didn't ask for it. It has just always been there. And that's been my personal experience as a same sex attracted person.
This way of thinking isn't derived from facts based on anything biological or scientific, though; it's a theory rooted in logic. The logic goes something like this: "As long as I can remember I've felt this way, and I never made a conscious decision to choose to feel this way, so it must be true that I was born this way."
Honestly, I don't think that's super irrational. It kind of makes sense, doesn't it? Those of us with inclinations and drawings toward certain behaviors, like eating too much, temper tantrums, laziness, anger and depression, think that we were "born" with these inclinations. We know that these things just come naturally to us and we know that we don't choose what comes naturally to us. We choose to eat too much or fly off the handle, most definitely, but the drawings inside of us toward those things aren't drawings that we conjure up into existence. They're just there. Again, what we choose to do with them is up to us. Behavior is a choice. So are gay people born with natural-to-them inclinations to be attracted to the same sex? more >>
Pope Francis has said that war is never the right way to stop the injustices of the world and warned that it always leads to further problems, seemingly distancing himself from supporting U.S. airstrikes against terror group ISIS.
"War is never a satisfactory way to right injustices," the Roman Catholic Church leader said during an inter-faith colloqium hosted in Belgium by the St. Egido community, AFP reported on Sunday.
"War leads people into a spiral of violence which becomes difficult to control. It destroys what it has taken generations to establish and leads the way to even worse conflicts and injustices." more >>
What role does religion play in American attitudes towards Israel? An analysis by Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief of Gallup Inc., reviews 14 annual Gallup polls from 2001 to 2014 in which respondents answer the same question, "In the Middle East situation, are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?" The numbers offer insights different from what one might expect.
The study starts with two basic facts: First, looking at the whole sample of about 14,000 American adults, 59 percent answer that they have more sympathy for Israelis and 16 percent say they have more sympathy for Palestinians, a ratio of almost 4-to-1. Second, Newport finds that "Religious Americans are significantly more likely than less religious Americans to be sympathetic to the Israelis," confirming what common sense already tells us.
That said, his numbers contain several noteworthy subtleties: more >>
The founder of a global proclamation ministry who has trained thousands of church leaders in over 100 countries, has highlighted the importance of strengthening pastoral leaders in the Middle East as a means of helping suffering people, noting that ministries affect congregations, who then become a witness to their communities.
Ramesh Richard, the founder and president of RREACH (Ramesh Richard Evangelism and Church Health), told The Christian Post in an email interview Wednesday that in terms of the Christian faith, the Middle East is closest to Jesus Christ racially and geographically, but farthest from Him spiritually.
The theologian-evangelist, who serves as a professor of Global Theological Engagement and Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, also serves as chair convener of the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers to be held in Bangkok in June 2016. more >>
Theologian and pastor James Emery White argues that turmoil within churches regarding the pastor, such as what has transpired at Mars Hill Church with Pastor Mark Driscoll, is not just a problem for the individual congregation, but for all churches.
"Without going into the saga that is Mars Hill Church … let's just say that it's a mess. And not just for Mars Hill," White recently wrote in his blog, Church & Culture. "It's a mess for all churches as such things unfold before a watching world. Every time something like this happens locally, or nationally, I groan. Not simply because it grieves me, not simply because of the damage to our collective witness, but because it makes it so much harder for so many men and women in ministry who don't create messes."
White, the founding and senior pastor at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, fears that others will "get painted with the same brush." more >>
The latest discoveries surrounding the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ, are set to be discussed by a host of international experts at a gathering in St. Louis, Oct. 9-12.
"I'm particularly excited that we have many new presenters since the last USA Conference in 2008," said Conference chair and sindonologist Joe Marino in a news release.
Over 30 shroud experts, representing diverse fields such as archeology, physics, iconography and theology, will gather for the first conference of its kind in the U.S. since 2008. more >>