Archive | Christianity

What David Gushee’s change of heart really means

Jonathan Merritt reports for Religion News Service that David Gushee no longer believes homosexual, bisexual, or transgender behavior to be sinful. Who is David Gushee? He is an ethicist that has been a part of the evangelical movement for many years—which is why Merritt has splashed his story. Merritt puts forth Gushee’s change of heart as a decision of great consequence for the evangelical movement saying, “It is difficult to overstate the potential impact of Gushee’s defection.”

Several thoughts come to mind in response to this report: Continue Reading →

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Division on Wheaton’s faculty about Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate

Ruth Graham reports that some of the faculty at Wheaton College have problems with the college’s opposition to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. Obamacare requires Christian schools like Wheaton to provide insurance coverage for abortifacient drugs. Wheaton has sued the government (like many other institutions in their position) to get relief from Obamacare’s infringement upon religious liberty. Nevertheless, Graham reports that some of the faculty are opposed to the lawsuit. She writes: Continue Reading →

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A coach’s wife writes to tell about her marriage

In my previous post, I made reference to the fact that being a head football coach in the SEC can be a real trial for marriages. As the video makes clear, the husbands are so busy that the wives are left alone for long amounts of time with minimal input from the husband. One woman said that her husband starts working on July 13 and does not get a full day off until Christmas Eve. In other words, it is really tough for husbands and wives.

A high school football coach’s wife left a comment under my last post that I thought was really helpful. She says that she and her husband have a “dynamic” marriage, even though the football season is a trial every year. They are Christians, and they have made this life their ministry. After viewing my last post and the video embedded in it, she writes: Continue Reading →

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All law is imposed morality

The inimitable Doug Wilson is in rare form over the subpoenaed sermons in Houston. He writes:

I have been pointing out the totalitarian impulse of progressives for some time, but they are not totalitarian because they want to impose morality. They are totalitarian because they want to impose an immoral morality. They are not totalitarian because they want to suppress something. All laws suppress something. The problem is what they want to suppress. They want to suppress decency and glorify kink, when they ought to be doing the opposite.

There are only two options — public virtue or public vice. There is no neutral third zone that enables our ruling elites to privatize all virtue and vice, thus enabling them as moderators of our public discourse to make their Olympian decisions in accord with some trans-moral system.

All law is imposed morality, and the only question concerns which morality will be imposed. Either you will impose virtue on the creeper who wants into the ladies room, or you will impose your system of vice on pastors who object to creepers being allowed in the ladies room. You will either punish vice or you will punish virtue. Houston is currently doing the latter.

The rest is here.

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When Popes and councils contradict each other

Andrew Sullivan calls the news out of the Vatican yesterday a “pastoral revolution.” That point is being vigorously contested right now by the likes of Robbie George, George Weigel and R. R. Reno, who point out that the statement in question has no official status. Some reports say that the report reflects the sentiments of a plurality of bishops participating in the synod. Still, it is significant that a synod of Bishops has even released an interim report affirming the church’s traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality while calling for “courageous pastoral choices” that include valuing gay “sexual orientation.”

At least some of these bishops wish to maintain the language of the catechism but to adopt pastoral practices that contradict it. This enables them to say that the church’s teaching on homosexuality has remained constant and that the only change is in how it is applied in people’s lives. But in this case, that distinction doesn’t work. One cannot value something and at the same time repent of it, and yet that is what these bishops appear to be calling for. Most people (I think) can see the contradiction. Continue Reading →

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Did the Roman Catholic Church just change its position on divorce and gay marriage?

The headlines coming out of the Vatican yesterday are nothing less than eye-popping. Here’s just a handful:

What is going on here? Did the Roman Catholic Church really just nullify its 2,000-year old teaching on the nature of marriage and sexual ethics? If all you had were these headlines, you might think so. Continue Reading →

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Do you have confidence in Christ that can handle Ebola?

My heart sank when I heard the news this morning about Thomas Eric Duncan. He was the first Ebola victim discovered in the United States, and he passed away earlier today. I don’t know much about Duncan at all, but I do know this. He travelled to the United States late last month after having contact with Ebola in Liberia. The disease overcame him after he arrived in Dallas, Texas. His condition became so desperate that his family members could no longer have video conferences with him. The sight of him was too unsettling for them. He died alone in an isolation ward this morning. Continue Reading →

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The argument from irony against close communion

Well, I suppose I would be better off letting Mark Jones’ essay attacking close communion go by without comment. I am reminded of the Proverb, “Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own” (Proverbs 26:17). Jones’s post wasn’t addressed to me specifically. Still, I do feel like this is as much my quarrel as anyone’s. I am a Baptist pastor who holds to close communion. That is the position of my denomination, and it is the position of my church. I happen to believe that it is the position of scripture as well. Continue Reading →

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When Team Secularism gets envious of Team Christian

Ross Douthat has an insightful blog today about “Pagans and Christians” that you should read. Among other things, he argues that America isn’t really a “pagan” nation yet. So much of its middle-class spirituality is still deeply informed by the judeo-christian tradition. He is certainly right about that.

He also argues that secularists don’t know what to do when Christians outshine them in acts of mercy and charity. Case in point: the overwhelmingly Christian identity of western doctors on the ground in Liberia right now. They are missionaries, they are there to heal, and they are there to proselytize. Everyone likes the healing part. But secularists get really uncomfortable about the preaching part. Douthat says that Christians ought to relish the tension that this creates in our secularist friends and neighbors:

Continue Reading →

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Coercing a Christian couple to host a gay wedding

The story in the video above is not a new one. Still, you need to see this. Here’s the story in a nutshell.

Cynthia and Robert Gifford are Christians who own a family farm near Albany, New York. They regularly rent their property for special events, parties, weddings, etc. In 2012, a lesbian couple attempted to rent the facilities for their lesbian wedding, and the owners declined. Why? Because the Giffords are Christians and believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. They simply did not wish to use their property to host an event that contradicts their deeply held religious beliefs. Continue Reading →

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