Archive | Christianity

Should I attend the wedding of a gay friend or family member?

The March issue of Christianity Today has a forum titled: “Should I attend the wedding of a gay friend or family member? The invitation will come soon enough.” The article includes three respondents—two Roman Catholics (Eve Tushnet and Sherif Girgis) and one Anglican (Lisa Severine Nolland). Girgis and Nolland contend that Christians have a moral obligation not to attend same-sex weddings. Tushnet argues that “it’s best to show up.”

I’m with Nolland and Girgis on this one because attendance at a wedding is not like attending a concert, where attendance suggests nothing about your own views on the proceedings. A wedding is a public recognition of a union, and those in attendance are there to help celebrate and add their assent to the union. There is a reason that the traditional ceremony includes the bit about “let him speak now or forever hold his peace.” The witnesses are not merely spectating. Their mere presence implies their support of the union. Because our Lord has told us not to celebrate or approve sin (Isa. 5:20; Rom. 1:32), Christians should not attend gay weddings. Continue Reading →

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The SBC will look different this summer

This post is a bit of inside baseball for all my Southern Baptist readers. I just learned that our annual meeting will be quite different this June. Pastor Ronnie Floyd will preside over a revamped program that moves all convention business, resolutions, and seminary reports to Tuesday morning and afternoon. Tuesday evening through Wednesday will have a focus on ministry and mission. Wednesday afternoon will feature the convention sermon as well as a panel discussion on “The Supreme Court and Same -Sex Marriage: Preparing Our Churches for the Future.” Panelists include Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, and others. You can look at an overview of the schedule below.

This year’s meeting will be in Columbus, Ohio on June 16-17. I hope to see you there! Continue Reading →

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If everyone consents, why not “50 Shades” or incest?

At this point in our culture’s sexual devolution, the only recognized boundary on sexual expression is consent. If two or more persons are of age and if all parties agree to a given sexual activity, then that activity is deemed acceptable—no matter what it is. Any attempt to suggest moral obligation beyond consent is treated as repressive and as a throwback to puritanical austerity. That’s simply where we are right now as a people.

Certainly Christians would agree with our secular counterparts that consent is a necessary moral condition for sexual expression. No one disagrees with that. The problem we have is with the suggestion that consent is the only necessary condition. Nevertheless, our culture has been experimenting with the “consent only” norm for many decades now. How is this working out for us? Is it really true that anything consenting adults agree to is acceptable? Continue Reading →

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Sam Allberry to speak at Southern Seminary, March 4

I’m really excited to welcome Sam Allberry to the campus of Boyce College and Southern Seminary next week. It’s a one-day only event in which he will be delivering a series of messages on “Homosexuality and Ministry.” The talks will focus on how to do faithful gospel ministry among those who are same-sex attracted. Sam Allberry has shared his compelling story in his watershed book Is God Anti-gay?, and he will be fleshing-out those themes in his talks on campus. The event is free for students and their families and will be held next week on Wednesday, March 4. For more information about the schedule and meeting room, visit here.

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Florist rejects AG’s offer, stands courageously on principle, and risks everything

If you haven’t been following Barronelle Stutzman’s case in Washington State, you need to be. She is the florist being sued by the state attorney general for refusing to participate in a gay wedding. The attorney general is trying to compel her to ignore her Christian faith and to participate in gay weddings. If she refuses, he is threatening the full coercive power of the state to force her to do it. She stands to lose everything—her home, her savings, her business, her livelihood—if she does not comply. I have an article today at CNN.com explaining the situation. The conclusion reads like this: Continue Reading →

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Lenten Curmudgeon: Carl Trueman on Evanglicals and Lent

Carl Trueman is perplexed at Evangelical fascination with Lent. He writes:

I can understand Anglicans observing Lent. Hey, I can even approve of them doing so when I am in an exceptionally good mood or have just awoken from a deep sleep and am still a little disoriented. It is part of their history. It connects to their formal liturgical history. All denominations and Christian traditions involve elements that are strictly speaking unbiblical but which shape their historic identity. For Anglicans, the liturgical calendar is just such a thing. These reasons are not compelling in a way that would make the calendar normative for all Christians, yet I can still see how they make sense to an Anglican. But just as celebrating July the Fourth makes sense for Americans but not for the English, the Chinese or the Lapps, so Ash Wednesday and Lent really make no sense to those who are Presbyterians, Baptists, or free church evangelicals.

What perplexes me is the need for people from these other groups to observe Ash Wednesday and Lent. My commitment to Christian liberty means that I certainly would not regard it as sinful in itself for them to do so; but that same commitment also means that I object most strongly to anybody trying to argue that it should be a normative practice for Christians, to impose it on their congregations, or to claim that it confers benefits unavailable elsewhere. 

You can read the rest here.

(HT: Hershel York)

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Wrapping a Lie in the Cloak of Faith

Secular journalist, Matt Lewis, tries to explain to secular people why President Obama’s lie about gay marriage is such a big deal to real believers. In short, it is because the President wrapped his lie in a cloak of faith. Lewis writes:

Consider this imperfect analogy. You say, “On the life of my daughter, I’m telling the truth…” and I find out that you lied. The lie itself might be about something terribly minor. But what kind of person would do that?

That’s the problem here. Obama cited his belief in something sacred to buttress an argument he apparently didn’t actually believe. By making his faith an accessory to a lie, he subjected something sacred to something profane.

For the faithful, this really is a damning revelation.

I’m less interested in how Obama feels about gay marriage than I am in the fact that he’s the kind of person who would cite his faith to justify a lie.

Continue Reading →

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Why “50 Shades” is not the same as biblical submission

I hadn’t planned on contributing anything to the 50 Shades meme that appears to be taking over the internet. In fact, I was studiously avoiding it. I changed my mind this morning after watching a CBS News package that deals with female “submission” in relationships (see it here).

The report compares the sado-masochism of 50 Shades of Grey to the submissive roles of two well-known wives, Candace Cameron Bure and Gabby Reece. By the end of the piece, the CBS journalists seem scandalized by Bure and Reece, but it is not clear whether they are equally troubled by 50 Shades of Grey. Continue Reading →

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