Weekly Briefing

Christian florist, praying for Trump, baptism in prison

Barronelle Stutzman
Barronelle Stutzman, surrounded by supporters, speaks with the media after appearing for the Washington Supreme Court at Bellevue College on Nov. 15, 2016. |

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Washington court again rules against Christian florist

The Washington Supreme Court upheld on Thursday its 2017 decision against a Christian florist for refusing to create floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

The court ruled that Barronelle Stutzman violated state law against sexual orientation discrimination.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that represents the florist, said it will appeal to the nation’s highest court.

Trump shows up at church unexpectedly and asks pastor to pray for him

Pastor David Platt prayed for President Donald Trump on stage after Trump unexpectedly showed up at McLean Bible Church in Virginia on Sunday.

Platt later explained why he decided to pray for the president, saying although he wanted to “guard the integrity of the gospel” in his church, he believed it would be pleasing to God to pray for the president.

His aim was not to endorse Trump but “to obey God’s command.”

The Southern Baptist pastor also mentioned that just before the prayer, he shared the Gospel with Trump backstage.

Trump admin. will stop using tissue from aborted babies for research

Pro-life groups are hailing the Trump administration’s decision to end the federal government’s practice of using fetal tissue for medical research.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health will not be renewing a contract with the University of California, San Francisco, for fetal tissue.

An ethics advisory board will also be set up to review new research grant applications and current research projects in the renewal process that propose using fetal tissue from abortions to determine whether the NIH should fund the projects.

United Methodist regional bodies reject Traditional Plan

Regional bodies of The United Methodist Church are passing resolutions to resist the denomination’s reaffirmed stance against same-sex marriage and noncelibate gay clergy.

After UMC delegates approved what is called the Traditional Plan early this year, United Methodists in Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan and Maryland have moved to defy the denomination’s rules.

The debate over homosexuality has been ongoing for years. With the Traditional Plan in place, many pro-LGBT churches have been meeting to discuss resistance tactics or leaving to form a new body altogether.

Gang members get baptized in prison

Five gang members who are among the most violent felons in Coffield Prison received water baptisms on Sunday.

The men were from rival gangs but they solidified their commitment to Jesus Christ by being baptized while still shackled.

This was done through Gateway Church in Dallas, which opened a campus inside Coffield Prison just six months ago.

The church plans to open 10 prison campuses over the next two years.

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