The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Pope Francis has hinted that the Catholic Church could recognise gay civil unions and called for women to have a greater role in the church in an interview that marks his first year as pontiff.
In a wide-ranging interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis reiterated that gay marriage could not be accepted by the Catholic Church.
“Marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said.
Have you ever run over a dead skunk in the road? I have, during a heat wave. The smell got into my tires and permeated our garage for days! I’ll go out on a limb and say that no one takes pleasure in the highly offensive smell of skunk spray, dead or alive. My point in telling you this is that to God the stench of sin is much worse than skunk. For an example of just how much the Lord hates sin, grab a cup of coffee and read First and Second Kings. Given our penchant for getting things fast, here’s an illustration of the way in which God dealt with Baasha, one of Israel’s most ruthless kings:
Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made my people Israel to sin, provoking me to anger with their sins, behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens shall eat. (1 Kings 16:1–4)
God had already destroyed Jeroboam for his flagrant sins, yet Baasha repeated the same mistakes. God rebuked the Israelites for their sinful ways and vowed to punish them.
The liberal L.A. Times would have us believe that there is a category called LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) evangelical Christian. Since the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin against God, this is a contradiction in terms. According to the writer, Kurt Streeter, instead of repenting (turning) from their sin and doing what’s right in God’s eyes, some in the LGBT community have made a choice to ignore the clear teaching of Scripture and to falsely claim they’re evangelicals.
Chelsea McInturff and Samantha Curley were eager for a public conversation about film, gay sexuality and Christian life, but they weren’t sure whether it was the right time — or the right place.
They stood nervously inside an auditorium at Pasadena’s evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary last spring, worried the drama they were about to screen –— about a teen coming out as lesbian — would end up offending an audience of students and professors who didn’t necessarily approve of its story line.
“Should we even do this?” they recently recalled wondering. “Maybe we should we just skip this one and move on.”
A few days ago the FDA participated in a summit that was held to consider radical biological procedures that would produce genetically modified human beings. Marcy Darnovsky. executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, wrote this article for the New York Times. Darnovsky believes these modification techniques are dangerous because of their medical risks and societal implications:
These techniques would change every cell in the bodies of children born as a result of their use, and these alterations would be passed down to future generations.
The F.D.A. calls them mitochondrial manipulation technologies. The procedures involve removing the nuclear material either from the egg or embryo of a woman with inheritable mitochondrial disease and inserting it into a healthy egg or embryo of a donor whose own nuclear material has been discarded. Any offspring would carry genetic material from three people – the nuclear DNA of the mother and father, and the mitochondrial DNA of the donor.
Christian News Network reports:
A billed passed by Arizona lawmakers last week which sought to protect business owners and shield them from unlawful discrimination lawsuits has been vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer.
“I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want,” Brewer said.
According to Christian News Network:
Lawmakers in South Dakota rejected a bill on Thursday that would have banned the practice of dismembering and decapitating babies during abortion procedures.
H.B. 1241 was struck down by an 11-1 vote, including three of its sponsors who decided to table the measure.
The legislation provided criminal penalties for any doctor who intentionally injured an unborn child, and in some cases, placing them behind bars for life.
Quin Hillyer, contributing editor of National Review, implores: “How about a little old-fashioned privacy for sexuality of all stripes?”
It’s one thing to be tolerant of what once were known as “alternative lifestyles.” It’s another thing to be asked to celebrate them, as the exuberant mythologizers of Michael Sam and Johnny Weir ask us to do. And it is way beyond the pale to hold forth on any sort of sex life — perhaps apart from self-restraint — as if it’s a form of heroism.
Yet the culture of the professional Left, enthusiastically aided by the establishment media, is going bonkers in pushing active homosexuality (or any one of several exotic variants thereof) as an absolute virtue. One can hardly turn around these days without facing, in fiction or in real life, what amounts to homosexual chic. From the amount of primetime air time afforded to gay Americans, one would think they constitute at least a large minority of the population, rather than the 3 to 5 percent they actually do.
Apologist and ethicist Bill Muehlenberg reminds us how important it is for Christians to read and meditate on the Word of God daily.
One of the most tragic realities of contemporary Western Christianity is the fact that so many Christians simply do not read their Bibles. Certainly many – if not most – do not read the Bible regularly, daily, and determinedly. This has to be one of the great scandals of today’s church.
How can we claim to be lovers of God and disciples of Christ if we neglect perhaps his greatest gift to us: his written Word? Scripture is not just our guidebook, our rock, and our sustenance, but it contains God’s love letters to his own people.
How can we claim to love God yet ignore and treat with disdain his love letters to us? Just remember when you were first in love, and perhaps separated from your beloved. You looked forward every day to a letter in the mailbox, or today, an email in your inbox. You could not wait to hear from the one you loved.
According to The Gospel Herald:
David Yonggi Cho, founder of world’s largest Pentecostal congregation, was found guilty by South Korean court for committing breach of trust and corruption of 130 billion won (US $21 million), according to Yonhap News Agency.
Cho, senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, was sentenced to a three-year prison term with a five year reprieve and ordered to pay a penalty of 50 billion won (US $4.7 million) by Seoul Central Court on Feb. 20, 2014.
According to LifeSiteNews:
President Barack Obama has elevated the right to have sex with a member of the same sex to the level of universal “fundamental freedoms” in a new presidential statement criticizing Uganda. But critics say his promotion of homosexuality in a continent that overwhelmingly opposes that behavior amounts to a form of liberal “cultural imperialism.”
Obama wrote on Sunday that he opposed a proposed bill in Uganda that would criminalize same-sex “marriages” and impose life imprisonment for repeated homosexual acts, among other provisions, because “as a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights.”
According to the Christian News Network:
North Carolina’s ‘Choose Life’ license plate is unconstitutional because the state doesn’t provide the same forum for motorists on the other side of the contentious issue, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a federal judge’s ruling that the ‘Choose Life’ license plate is unconstitutional.
Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, expresses his dismay over a Kentucky judge’s decision to grant full recognition to same-sex marriages legally performed in other states:
As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.” Those are the words of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, drawn from his dissent in the case United States v. Windsor, handed down last year. In that case, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that the United States government could not refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. The Court struck down a law passed by massive majorities in both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. While the Court did not rule that all fifty states must immediately legalize same-sex marriage, it set the stage for this eventual result. Justice Scalia made that point clear in his dissent.
Now, Justice Scalia’s prophecy has come to pass in Kentucky. Today, U. S. District Judge John G. Heyburn declared that Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states violates the equal protection clause of the U. S. Constitution. Judge Heyburn did not rule that Kentucky must now marry same-sex couples, but that the state must grant full recognition to same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. Nevertheless, Judge Heyburn recognized that his decision points to that eventual result, stating that “there is no doubt that Windsor and this Court’s analysis suggest a possible result to that question.” If anything, that is an understatement. As with Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion in Windsor, Judge Heyburn now clearly points to the striking down of any state’s prohibition on same-sex marriage. As Justice Scalia predicted, we did not have to wait long for the other shoe.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes:
The debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham attracted a huge international audience and no shortage of controversy—even before it began. Bill Nye, whose main media presence is as “The Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, co-founder of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, squared off in a true debate over one of the most important questions that the human mind can contemplate. That is no small achievement.
I enjoyed a front row seat at the debate, which took place even as a major winter storm raged outside, dumping considerable amounts of snow and ice and causing what the local police announced as a “Class Two” weather emergency. Inside the Creation Museum there was quite enough heat, and the debate took place without a hitch. Thankfully, it also took place without acrimony.
The initial controversy about the debate centered in criticism of Bill Nye for even accepting the invitation. Many evolutionary scientists, such as Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, refuse to debate the issue, believing that any public debate offers legitimacy to those who deny evolution. Nye was criticized by many leading evolutionists, who argued publicly that nothing good could come of the debate.
Apologist and ethicist Bill Muehlenberg writes:
In my book, Heidi Mund is a Christian superstar, a champion, and a hero. We so desperately need more like her. Instead we have millions of gutless, spineless effeminate churchians who will never open their mouth about anything. Indeed, our churches are filled with craven cowards and spineless wonders.
So who is Heidi Mund? She is a small, frail, quiet German woman, but one who allows the Holy Ghost to empower her greatly, speaking out forcefully and fearlessly against syncretism, idolatry and the lies of the enemy. Her story has been captured in a video which has gone viral, and rightly so. You can see the 6-minute video here.
According to thestar.com:
The Vatican “systematically” adopted policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, a UN human rights committee said Wednesday, urging the Holy See to open its files on pedophiles and bishops who concealed their crimes.
In a devastating report hailed by abuse victims, the UN committee severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and said it should change its own canon law to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.
Christian News Network reports:
A Christian legal organization has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that it reinstate an injunction against a California law that bars licensed therapists from helping homosexual youth to overcome temptation.
As previously reported, in 2012, as the ban was being contemplated in the legislature, Governor Jerry Brown remarked that he hoped reparative therapy would be forever heaved into “the dustbin of quackery.” The bill’s author, Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance, claimed that counseling and therapy aimed at helping youth turn from the homosexual lifestyle is the equivalent of “psychological child abuse.”
The Discernment Research Group writes:
I went to a John Wimber workshop… He said he sees the next 20 to 30 years as the time when more signs and wonders will be done than ever in history and when the secular media will be overwhelmed and have to report it every day as great revival spreads. John Piper
Now we come full circle to Francis Chan’s appearance along with the aforementioned Jesus Culture at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) Young Adult Conference 2013 One Thing, which just wrapped up Tuesday, December 31st… In my opinion IHOP is using Francis Chan’s comments at One Thing as propaganda in order to borrow Chan’s credibility within the wider evangelical community and promote their leader Mike Bickle. How foolish of Francis Chan to just gush enthusiastically:
“I go, man, there’s a lot of great things going on [at IHOP].
And today was the first time I ever met Mike Bickle.
And, I love that guy. I do.
…there’s people who told me not to hang out with him.
“Like, you know, words like “creepy” came up.
And yet, I get to know this guy and I’m going,
“Man, I love his heart.
And I just want to publicly say I love Mike Bickle.
The children are the best of all the generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth…. those ELECTED SEEDS that will glorify Christ in the last days… they will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever been in the Bible – They’ll move in it consistently… they themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet… a church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man!
Mike Bickle & Bob Jones
IHOP In An Era of Celebrity-Driven Christianity
Evangelical leaders are currently rushing to associate themselves with major youth events that are becoming increasingly popular in the Christian world. These mass youth rallies were developed over the course of several decades by Mike Bickle’s IHOP (International House of Prayer) movement, which is interconnected to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). IHOP and the NAR share both personnel and doctrine, with roots that go back into the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God cult. Previously we have extensively documented the history of the camaraderie of IHOP and NAR.
Jason Helopoulos, guest blogging for The Gospel Coalition writes:
Even before the Grammy Awards showcased Macklemore singing “Same Love” and Queen Latifah presiding over a “same sex couple’s wedding” ceremony, I had most of this blog written as the topic has been on my mind for quite some time.
I am not a Kuyperian or a Neo-Kuyperian, but there are certain watershed cultural issues for every generation of Christians; issues in which they cannot be silent. For our generation, abortion and homosexuality are key watershed issues. They are watershed issues, because abortion snatches away life and homosexuality reaches out and grabs hold of death.
The average Evangelical Christian continues to believe we should speak out against the acceptance of abortion in our culture. And the pro-abortion forces have been losing ground over the past five years. No doubt, much of that is due to the church’s resolve to stand against this agenda. However, it seems to me that in the past few years, Evangelical Christians in the United States have increasingly and passively grown in their acceptance of homosexuality. This should concern all of us.
According to the Daily Mail:
To millions of Christians, they are a symbol of peace.
But to a pair of larger birds, the two doves released in the Vatican yesterday were nothing more than a chance for a bit of Sunday morning sport.
No sooner had the birds been set free in St Peter’s Square – as a symbolic gesture of peace for Ukraine – than they were set upon by a seagull and a crow.