Bishop reported to police for anti-gay comments

Aug 10, 2015 by

By Antony Bushfield, Premier: A gay rights group in Switzerland has made a complaint to police after a bishop in the country appeared to suggest homosexuals should be punished with death. Rt Revd Vitus Huonder, the Catholic bishop of Chur, quoted a passage from the Bible which said homosexuals should be punished by death at an event. At the ‘Joy in Faith’ forum in the German city of Fulda, he quoted two verses from the book of Leviticus, including Leviticus 20:13. He told the gathered: “Both of these passages alone suffice to clarify unambiguously the church’s position on homosexuality”. The bishop has since released a statement saying it “wasn’t my intention” to suggest gay people should be killed. He said he regretted that his comments had been misunderstood. Read here Read also: Catholic bishop in ‘death to gays’ storm, SwissInfo Criminal complaint filed against bishop who called for gays to be killed, Pink News...

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3 Dangerous Arguments Christians Are Buying Into

Jul 28, 2015 by

By Charis Hillman Brown, Charisma News: “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me, God. Amen.” —Martin Luther I lean libertarian politically. I’m not sure why the government has any say in marriage—that which was founded as a religious institution for thousands of years. I don’t believe you can legislate morality, but at the same time, laws are needed to protect a country’s citizens. Today, Christians who won’t budge on the major issues are being branded as bigoted religious haters. This exact strategy was outlined in the landmark book After the Ball: How Americans Will Overcome Their Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ’90s. In this book, the authors, Kirk and Madsen, suggest isolating conservative Christians by presenting them as “hysterical backwoods preachers, drooling with hate to a degree that looks both comical and deranged.” They offered a vivid proposition of how this strategy could be used in the media: “For example, for several seconds an unctuous, beady-eyed Southern preacher is shown pounding the pulpit in rage against ‘those perverted, abominable creatures.'” While his tirade continues over the soundtrack, the picture switches to heart-rending photos of badly beaten persons, or of gays who look decent, harmless and likable; and then we cut back to the poisonous face of the preacher. The contrast speaks for itself. The effect is devastating.” In just one short year between 2011 and 2012, this issue went from having minority to majority support. And this victory for the homosexual marriage movement certainly has in large part had to do with painting Christians as outlandish outsiders who “drool with deranged hate”—the very same individuals who start charities, fight for the oppressed and rescue the helpless. These are the most common arguments for Christians to just “get over their deeply held religious convictions”: Read...

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Is this the missing ingredient in your spiritual life?

Jul 21, 2015 by

By David Baker, Christian Today: “They went out and proclaimed that all should repent…” (Mark 6:12) Imagine, just for a moment, that you are attending a church service, or watching a TV chat show – and a special guest is announced. To your surprise, that individual is none other than Jesus. There he is! Envisage him walking up to the pulpit, or being welcomed on to the television programme by the host – undoubtedly to massive applause. Wow! And now you’re thinking: “Here we go! Jesus is going to do his stuff! It’s going to be great!” Except that it isn’t… Jesus holds people spellbound to begin with – that’s for sure. He certainly speaks with real authority. But, hang on a moment, what’s that you hear from the back of the congregation or the TV studio audience? Surely it can’t be… But it is! Someone is booing… And now there is a catcall… And now most of those present are joining in a slow handclap of disapproval. What’s going on? Well, the answer is that this is pretty much what we find in Mark 6 when Jesus visits his home town (v1) – and it is also what Jesus warns his followers to expect in some places as his message is proclaimed (v11). When Jesus preaches at the place of worship in his home town, the congregation are initially astounded (v2) but their amazement quickly turns to disapproval – and then they take offence at him (v3). And when Jesus commissions his friends to go out and preach further afield (v6-10), he warns them that there will be places where people “will not welcome you and… refuse to hear you” (v11). What’s the common thread running through this section? It’s simply that some people will always take offence at the message Jesus brings. And although we’re not told in detail by Mark precisely what Jesus preached at this point, we can be pretty confident the substance of the message was the same as that which he told his followers to proclaim (v12) and which he himself had focused on from the start (1:15): it’s the message of repentance. Read here...

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Let’s Get Rid of What Divides Us…

Jul 10, 2015 by

by William Owens, CAAP: […] Deborah and I do the work that we feel “called” to do at a great sacrifice. We do it because we feel compelled to do so. No one asked us. No one prompted us. We just took action the day President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage in 2012. Our primary focus is education reform and helping under served youth, as I have shared with you in previous letters.  We added the marriage issue in 2004 when states began to amend their respective state constitutions to protect God’s design for marriage: one man and one woman. CAAP was thrust into the national spotlight when we held various press conferences around the nation boldly proclaiming the truth and letting the world know that our president is a “Judas.” Quite frankly, ever since that day, we seem unable to put down this fight. We are compelled to obey God and stand up to defend Biblical truths, even at our own peril. We give and we give. We push and we push. We are relentless in this work and the fight has just begun. Christians are being marginalized, persecuted, ridiculed and sued for their Christian views about marriage. I must admit that Deborah and I and our CAAP team have days that it seems like the Giant is way too big for us to defeat. But we are reminded of the story of David and Goliath. We are reminded of the story of Esther and many others. We recollect the struggle for civil rights in our nation: the real civil rights for blacks!  We know that anything worth fighting for requires commitment, energy and passion. It requires leadership. It requires team effort. Read here...

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The Great Consummation – Genesis 1:28

Jul 8, 2015 by

By Peter Ould: And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” Genesis 1:28 Our exploration of sex and marriage in the Bible begins with this simple verse towards the end of Genesis 1. Here, one verse after the poetry of Genesis 1:27 is the command to multiply and fill the earth – the first thing God instructs the man and the woman to do is to consummate their relationship and procreate the human race. The man and woman are distinguished from the rest of creation in that they are made in the image of God. Other commands to be fruitful and multiply are given to the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea, a pattern of binary that is seen throughout the chapter. Critically though, the unique instruction to humanity is for them to subdue the earth through their procreation. It is a curious usage of the Hebrew – this notion of domination by force is used at the start of the conquest of Canaan (Numbers 32:22) and again at the end when the tribes of Israel divide the Promised Land (Joshua 18:1). It is used to describe the height of power of King David, the arch-type of Messianic monarchical authority (1 Chr 22:18) and it is also a sign of the protection of the Lord of Hosts (Zechariah 9:15) of those he saves. It is the same root word used of the footstool of Solomon’s throne (2 Chr 9:18). Far from being a sinful act, this subjugation is the sign of the rightful power claiming rightful dominion for his rightful people. The procreative expansion of humanity proclaims the sovereignty of the binary that the man and woman signify – their own Creator. God separates the light from the darkness, the waters above from the waters beneath, the earth from the sea, the evening from the morning, the sun from the moon, the day from the night. It is in the context of these binaries that humanity is created. Read here...

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Groins and minds since the Fall

Jun 23, 2015 by

By Fr John Hunwicke: The Elephant in the Room during all this endless talk about the Synod’s Agenda, is, surely: Has Human Nature changed? Did humans never, before today, suffer from sexual temptation? Are Fornication, Adultery, Sodomy, problems only of our own unique and spectacularly sui generis age? What did the New Testament writers mean when they talked about porneia, moikheia, malakia? Is there something crashingly new about the capacity or incapacity of modern human beings (whether with or without Grace) to resist temptation? What is supposed to be so different about our groins and minds compared with the groins and minds of every other human generation since the Fall? What has so privileged us that we are (apparently) free to claim exemption from the Divine Commands, entolai, which were considered to bind former generations since the dawn of history? What is different about our age; what does set it apart from all previous ages? Not, surely, human sexual organs or the human minds which have to cope with them. The only change is the spread of the curse, the heresy, of thinking that humans have a Right to Autonomy, free from obligations to God or even to the age-old genetic and social inheritance of our long history as a species; “free”, in S Paul’s terrifying phrase, “from Righteousness”. In other words, the amoral individualistic wickedness of the Enlightenment Chicken is at last come home to roost and to befoul its roosting place. If you will allow me yet again to belabour you with the Anglican Patrimony, I will remind you of C S Lewis’s fictional snapshot (1945) of an atheist ‘freethinker’, a Professor Churchwood, “an old dear. All his lectures were devoted to proving the impossibility of ethics, though in private life he’d walked ten miles rather than leave a penny debt unpaid. But all the same … was there a single doctrine practised at Belbury* which hadn’t been preached by some lecturer at Edgestow? Oh, of course, they never thought that anyone would act on their theories! No one was more astonished than they when what they’d been talking about for years suddenly took on reality. But it was their own child coming back to them: grown up and unrecognisable, but their own. … Trahison des clercs. None of us is quite innocent.” (This theme, surely, is what That Hideous Strength is all about.) Read here...

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