Long before the start of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's 2014 (ERLC 2014) conference on marriage, sexuality and homosexuality, the fiery darts were thrown. Cultural and religious analysts and Twitter pundits alike hurled their accusations of hatred and bigotry with the hopes Internet bullying would silence discussions of biblical sexuality.
Concerning religious trends and surveys—especially among younger Evangelicals—continue to serve as doleful reminders that aggrieved outrage and resentful rebellion is en vogue, while faithful Christian discipleship is out of style.
It's hard to believe that a young woman growing up in America's Deep South would choose to convert to Islam because she is a feminist. With bad news focusing on ISIS' enslavement and torture of women, Hamas' use of women and children as human shields, and Boko Haram kidnapping young Christian girls from their schoolyards all with the common quest to implement Sharia Law, Islam just isn't the religion that comes to mind when I think of women's rights and equality
Too often I hear faithful Christians say, "I'll stay out of the governments business if the government stays out of my business." Well, it's safe to say that the murder of innocent unborn babies, aided by our tax dollars, is our business.
Let's see: twerking, stripper poles, and skimpy costumes. Another MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) show has come and gone. But unlike VMA 2013's Miley Cyrus spectacle that elicited national outrage, this year's Beyoncé gyrations to dirty song lyrics fetched supreme praise. Cue the double standards.
"Zionist" is not a term I would use to describe myself, at least, not before last Tuesday. As I found myself huddled and shaking in a bomb shelter along the Israel/Gaza Strip border as missiles fired overhead, my perspective started to change.
It may be that we are raising a generation of Evangelicals who resent self-sufficiency, upward mobility and success stories. I'm sorry to say these resentments, specifically among Millennials, is due in large part to an over-emphasis and misuse of "social justice" advocacy touted by the Left within our church sermons and Sunday school lessons.
Admitting the problem is the first step towards recovery. So let's admit it: if we swop the lyrics of a Taylor Swift ballad with some of today's contemporary Christian worship songs, no one would know the difference.
If you are against abortion or tax-payer funded contraception, then you are waging a so-called "War on Women." No right to talk about it. Men should stay out of women's business, they say. This is a major falsehood that liberals constantly tell men. But as Christians and future husbands and fathers, women need men to engage in the "war on women" debate.
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold citizens' First Amendment right to live and work according to our moral convictions should not scare women. What should frighten us is the deceptive and potentially harmful misinformation so-called "progressive" voices within pro-abortion lobby groups, mainstream media, and, most disappointingly, from some within the Church are feeding us.
News of pop singer Justin Bieber and his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, attending Bible study hasn't garnered as much attention from the Evangelical community as it should. Not because we care about celebrity status or bad-boy behavior, but because we are deeply concerned about souls and spheres of influence.
In case you missed it, there is a hilarious Tumblr blog floating the web that depicts "Why Millennials Don't Go to Church" in LOLCat format. One picture featured twirling cats and the words, "We can haz liturgical dance to attract the youngz" and another showed a cat lounging on top of a guitar asking, "Maybe u would like a praise band?"
Did you know that anyone can call themselves an evangelical? Sure. The description is up for grabs so long as you pair your evangelical label with sweet-sounding descriptors and fluffy mission statements. At least, that's the emerging trend.
You probably hear this phrase a dozen times a day: "…but I'm not judging." Whether heard on your favorite morning talk show, at the office, or Wednesday night Bible study, a misuse of this cultural caveat is suffocating God's truth.
It's messy. That's the only way I can describe to you the public debate between traditional and same-sex marriage.
Did you ever imagine a hashtag could help spread the word about Christian persecution in a matter of hours? Neither did I.
Like it or not, contraception is a twenty-first century moral issue which evangelicals must face.
Liberal Christians often champion themselves as facilitators of deep, authentic dialogue about the cultural issues facing America's faithful. But when the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission gathered yesterday for their first-ever leadership summit to genuinely discuss a myriad of sexual morality topics — including same-sex marriage and sexuality, the premier cultural conundrum facing the Church — unexpected kickback erupted on social media.
Too many are evangelical in name only. After declaring via Twitter she is "leaving evangelicalism" because World Vision will not hire folks within same-sex "marriages," Rachel Held Evans is now "second-guessing" her decision.
"It feels like a betrayal from every side," might be how blogger Rachel Held Evans' sums up last week's World Vision fiasco over same-sex marriage, but it certainly doesn't exactly convey the mixed feelings of most evangelicals.
World Vision's U.S. president, Richard Stearns, just announced that homosexuality goes, at least when it comes to his non-profit staff. In an interview with Christianity Today, the social justice champion insisted his decision "is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support." Nice try Mr. Stearns, but we're not buying your lines.
Valentine's Day, if we're honest, is an irritating holiday even for Christians. Everywhere we look there are baked-goods and candy hearts expressing their eternal love for us in pink frosting. For those of us struggling to keep up with New Year's diet resolutions, the temptations can be downright maddening. But all the talk about love and affection got me thinking. What if this year I asked my homosexual neighbor to be my valentine?
"The Religious Right is dead," proclaim political analysts on both the conservative right and liberal left. Phrases like "Post-Christian America" and "Post-Evangelical culture" abound. Yet, a mere two decades ago, these accusations would have gone unspoken. Perhaps it is time to consider if something, indeed, has gone wrong within the Evangelical community.
Did you know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month? According to the White House, this is a time to reflect on modern-day slavery and "renew our commitment to ending this scourge in all its forms." A project of the United Methodist Church, on the other hand, is committing to emphasize "reproductive services" for victims without regard for their emotional, physical and spiritual health.
Birth control is a touchy subject that Evangelicals find extremely difficult to discuss. But as the President's health care mandate officially launches and its oppressive contraception enforcements are questioned, some Evangelicals are reconsidering their embrace of oral contraception, or what is commonly referred to as the Pill.