Ronald Reagan once famously said, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they believe so much that isn’t so.”
The same might be said of those who, deliberately or not, are undermining the meaning of biblical marriage:
- Evangelical and LGBT+ Ally: Why You Can’t Be Both
From the Gospel Coalition:
During Pride Month, [Michael] Gerson used his forum in The Washington Post to write about “how the gay rights movement found such stunning success.” The article’s key thesis is that “in the conflict over gay rights, supporters have asserted a compelling view of human dignity, while opponents have struggled to explain how broadening rights harms others.” To support his claim, Gerson provides three examples.
For his first example, Gerson writes, “Some conservatives claimed that gay marriage would somehow weaken the institution of straight marriage. But the evidence that same-sex marriage increases rates of divorce, child poverty or children living in single-parent homes appears nonexistent.” His criteria reveals that he never truly understood the argument for how heterosexual marriages would be weakened by same-sex marriage.
Consider, for example, the issue of the redefinition of marriage. For almost all of human history, marriage has been considered the comprehensive union of man and woman that unites them for the purposes of procreation, family life, and domestic sharing. By simply redefining the term, it automatically devalued the institution.
If Gerson is looking for a more direct harm, he could look at the rise of nonmonogamous relationships. As I wrote nine years ago, being “monogamish” (i.e., when a couple is emotionally intimate only with each other yet engages in sexual infidelities or group sexual activity) has long been considered acceptable, even normative, within homosexual communities. As our nation embraces the acceptance of same-sex marriage, the idea that fidelity isn’t required within marriage has also been increasingly accepted.
As Christians have been pointing out for more than 2,000 years, the reason Jesus never mentioned homosexuality is that his views on sexuality were already so clear that it wasn’t necessary. What Jesus did do was speak explicitly about sexual immorality, which included homosexuality (e.g., Matt 5:28; 15:19), and define marriage according to the view of Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matt. 19:5). Until recently, serious-minded people didn’t argue that Jesus would endorse homosexual relationships, much less same-sex marriage.
“The corruption of a religious tradition by politics is tragic,” Gerson wrote in his 2018 article for The Atlantic, “shaming those who participate in it.” That’s certainly true. And Gerson—along with other LGBT-supporting “evangelicals”—have corrupted our faith tradition by embracing the politics of LGBT+ activism.
- Same-sex marriage puts Ron Johnson in a bind
The most endangered Senate Republican incumbent — who’s trailing his reelection foe in one of the most closely divided states in the country — could face a tough vote just weeks out from Election Day on whether to enshrine same-sex marriage into law.
As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer moves closer to a vote that would put Sen. Ron Johnson on defense in the home stretch of the midterms, the Wisconsin conservative is suddenly under the microscope on a social issue that he’s rarely focused on during his decade-plus in office. But it’s far from clear whether he’ll take that baby step to the center ahead of a November contest against Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who’s opened a slight lead in public polls.
Johnson surprised many fellow senators last month when he said he saw “no reason” to oppose what he described as unnecessary House-passed legislation designed to protect same-sex marriage, which could come to the floor as soon as next month. Then, when pressed later, he hedged on whether he’d vote yes or merely present. And he’s now pushing, alongside other Senate Republicans, for the bill to be amended before declaring his support.
“During the time he’s been back in Wisconsin over recess, he has spoken with a number of constituents who have concerns about the bill and the risk it may pose to religious liberty,” said Alexa Henning, Johnson’s spokesperson. “He is working with other senators on an amendment to try and remedy those concerns. The [same-sex marriage bill] is just another example of Democrats creating a state of fear over a settled issue in order to further divide Americans for their political benefit.”
- Administration Can’t Force Doctors to Perform ‘Sex-Change’ Procedures, Court Rules
From the Daily Citizen:
A federal appeals court has ruled that the Biden administration cannot force doctors and hospitals to perform so-called “sex-change” procedures which may go against their conscience and best medical judgement.
The unanimous opinion was issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
“Franciscan Alliance seeks relief from HHS’s threat to prosecutive hospitals that refuse to perform gender-reassignment surgeries and abortions,” the court said.
In agreeing with a lower district court siding against the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) mandate, the Fifth Circuit ruled, “The judgement of the district court is AFFIRMED.”
- Should Pastors Be Political?
From First Things:
If I were to conduct a survey of Christians in America and ask them whether pastors should be political, I suspect the overwhelming majority would answer with a resounding “no.” From time to time, we see a clip online of a politician speaking in a Sunday service, or a pastor stumping for a political candidate rather than preaching Scripture, and something just seems wrong.
Case closed, then? Not so fast. There are many confusing claims and counterclaims about whether pastors should be involved in politics. In the end it depends on what we mean by politics. I would like to suggest two important ways in which pastors cannot avoid being political, and one equally important way in which they should not—indeed, must not—be political.
First, the Bible itself addresses politics. In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome he writes: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom. 13:1). In the verses that follow, Paul enumerates the chief responsibilities of the state. It exists to enforce justice, reward good, and provide for the common good of a nation (Rom. 13:2–7). Pastors, just by teaching and preaching what the Bible says, will necessarily teach their people about the purposes and scope of the state, an important institution ordained by God. In other words, they will teach about politics, its (potential) goodness, and how it should be pursued.
Second, much of the Bible’s ethical teaching is a matter of political concern today. Abortion, transgenderism, justice, marriage, the education of children, and so on, are all matters of fundamental Christian concern. They are also unavoidably political and partisan issues in our world, whether we want them to be or not. Laws are made in each of these areas that will significantly affect Christians and our non-Christian neighbors. They are not concerns that faithful pastors can ignore. The goal of pastors should be to form their people in virtuous politics. The only alternatives are political avoidance or amoral Machiavellianism. Both stances will lead to dire social consequences; neither is an expression of the love for our neighbors taught by Jesus Christ.
There is, however, an important sense in which pastors should not be political. As is obvious from even a glance at the New Testament, the Church’s institutional mission is not the management of the state (that is, the practice of politics). In reading about the apostle Paul’s ministry, for example, it is clear that the minutiae of the practice of politics was the last thing on his mind. The simple reason for this is that Paul was a pastor, not a politician. It was not his job to get involved in the minute details of politics. His calling was to preach the gospel, to build up the churches, to pray for them, and to encourage them to remain faithful.
- Holy war at Jersey Shore: Critics, supporters argue over cross-shaped Ocean Grove pier
From the NY Post:
An Ocean Grove beach pier destroyed during Superstorm Sandy is being rebuilt, but the proposed design is shaped too much like a religious cross, LGBTQ and secular residents charge.
Presbyterian Pastor Douglas Grote, who has lobbied state and local officials for divine intervention, likened the rebuild underwritten by the powerful Methodist Ministry Camp Meeting Association to “Christian bullying.”
“I fear that my faith’s lovely cross may soon become as toxic as a Trojan horse for Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, and all of New Jersey,” Grote wrote in a guest column for NJ.com on Aug. 23.
The group’s COO, Jamie Jackson told News12, “We make no apology for that — we love the fact that it looks like a cross. This is a religious town founded as such in Ocean Grove and most people are excited, we will be able to have this pier shaped this way for these purposes.”
6. Popes who resign are humble, Francis says in central Italy visit
Pope Francis, who has often said he may step down in the future if bad health impedes him from leading the Catholic Church, on Sunday praised the humility of one of the few popes in history to resign willingly instead of ruling for life.
Pope Benedict XVI, who in 2013 became the first pontiff in about 600 years to resign willingly, visited L’Aquila four years before stepping down. In the past, Francis has also praised Benedict’s courage.
When the Vatican announced in June Francis’ trip to L’Aquila – to inaugurate an annual “feast of forgiveness” – it fuelled speculation that a conjunction of events – including the induction of new cardinals on Saturday and meetings starting on Monday on the Vatican’s new constitution – could foreshadow a resignation announcement.
However, in an interview with Reuters last month Francis, 85, laughed the idea off, saying “it never entered my mind”, while leaving open the possibility that he could step down for health reasons in the distant future.
“In the eyes of men, the humble are seen as weak and losers, but in reality, they are the real winners because they are the only ones who trust completely in the Lord and know His will,” Francis said.
- Mom of 12 Kids Shares Strong Message of Faith: ‘Children are a Blessing’
From Fox News:
While most mothers love their children, not all love the physical experience of being pregnant.
That is clearly not the case for Iris Purnell, 38, who spent 16 years over the past two decades pregnant with her 12 children — and if it were up to her, she’d welcome even more children into the world.
“I feel like children are a blessing,” she told Fox News Digital in a phone interview.
“And if it’s a blessing, then who am I to stop it?”
8. Kathie Lee Gifford Tells Powerful Story of Forgiving Howard Stern After 30 Years of Cruel Comments
Despite staffers from both her and Stern’s teams maneuvering to keep the two celebrities from facing one another — even keeping them on separate floors of NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center — the 69-year-old Gifford threw caution to the wind and made her way to Stern and his cadre.
It wasn’t of her own volition, though, that she approached Stern. In fact, Gifford recalled feeling compelled by the Holy Spirit to introduce herself to the brash radio host, whom she had never met.
“I went, ‘Oh, there’s Howard,’” she reminisced of the 2012 encounter. “I didn’t think anything of it. And the Lord spoke very, very clearly to me. He said, ‘Kathie, I want you to go downstairs and say hello to him.’ I’d never met him, I’d never watched his show. I’d only heard and read about all the evil over the years. And I said, ‘OK, Lord. I will.’”
9. The Remarkable & Tireless Pursuit to Bring the Bible to the Moon
From the Daily Citizen:
Technical issues forced Monday morning’s highly anticipated launch of NASA’s Artemis 1 (named after Apollo’s mythological twin sister) to be postponed. Rescheduled for possibly this Friday, the launch of the unmanned deep-space exploration capsule called “Orion” would mark America’s first return to the moon in fifty years.
The thrill of pioneering exploration into the unknown, discovering and detailing what mankind only once dreamed about, is something that’s hard to resist. For Christians, though, the subject and search of the heavens are of even greater significance.
We read in Genesis that God gave us “dominion” over the whole earth, calling men and women to populate and “subdue” it (1:26-28). This includes permission and perhaps even a push to use His resources to learn as much as we can regarding all dimensions of His wondrous creation.
Including outer space.
Today’s younger generations, growing up in a decidedly secular and post-Christian culture, may not know that once upon a time, NASA seemed to acknowledge that God, not man, was the center of all things.
Case in point: there was once even a project to bring the Bible to the moon – a quest that was born out of a space-related tragedy.
Click here to read the full story.
10.Texas State Student Puts Life on Hold to Adopt Baby Found in Trash Pile in Haiti
From Fox Tampa Bay:
A Texas State student from Haiti is making headlines after his mission to adopt a baby he found in the trash back home went viral.
Jimmy Amisial, 27, attended Texas State University as a communications major. In 2017, he went home to Haiti to visit family for the new year.
That’s where he found now-4-year-old Emilio Angel Jeremiah, just four months old at the time, abandoned in a pile of trash.
“You could see him crying, and he had no clothes on, and he had fire ants crawling all over him,” Amisial explained.
He says because of Haitian superstitions a group of people surrounding the baby were too afraid to rescue him.
“No one wanted to touch the baby because they thought the baby was cursed, they were like it’s New Year’s Eve, the devil is trying to get us,” said Amisial.
However, Amisial, who often volunteers at orphanages, in Haiti said he didn’t hesitate to pick the baby up and take him home.