Posts Tagged ‘Homosexuality’
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
When I first became a Christian, I was 21 years old, but unfortunately the other believers around me became a part of the “Shepherding Movement.” Thankfully, I listened to that “still small voice” and the wife of a family who had defected, helped to bring me out of it! (She simply asked me where my joy was by trying to live back under all the laws, which Jesus released us from, which in turn, the Shepherding Movement was trying to revert us back to . . . I had no joy.) As the years rolled by, I realized I had a gift of discernment. Fast forward 30 years: I am now 57, and I am appalled by the emerging church, contemplative prayer, etc. I have stood against these, and by speaking the truth lost so many church/personal relationships because of it.
It is becoming very difficult to find a Bible-based church that doesn’t compromise and will preach the “whole” word of God. This is my biggest concern however . . . my husband and I recently left a United Methodist Church for this reason: We loved the concept that the doors were open to all people, in all walks of life. This included a homosexual couple. My problem soon began to be realized – that those issues would never be addressed truthfully.
Our pastor just didn’t want to acknowledge, and certainly not preach on, ANY Scripture in the New Testament that plainly speaks of the consequences of those, or any other types of those behaviors/sins. It seems that all churches we attend are just politically correct like this. Many of the things that your articles speak about which are blatantly attacking the church are more obvious. At least to me. Unfortunately, I believe this “political correctness” is what is really going to be the churches undoing. It is so insidious and frighting. I don’t know whether God wants me to stay in churches like these and keep fighting and exposing His truth or leave because eventually it becomes too hurtful and unbearable. ANY suggestions would be welcomed!! Thank you for all the hard work you do.
Our Comment: This reader has asked us if we could provide them with any comments our readers have regarding this letter. For those who are reading this on Facebook, please feel free to comment and offer suggestions or insights. Many, many people who contact Lighthouse Trails, either through e-mail, phone, or letter, share similar concerns, in particular when it comes to finding a solid Bible-based church.
Related Helpful Articles:
6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask by Michael Carter
See also Part 1 Year in Review
Editor’s Note: (Listed in order of date posted from January 2016 – December 2016)
2016 YEAR IN REVIEW – PART 2 – TOP 10 OUT-OF-HOUSE NEWS STORIES
Christianity Today: More than half of evangelical pastors say Pope Francis is their brother in Christ.
More than one-third say they value the pope’s view on theology, and 3 in 10 say he has improved their view of the Catholic Church.
Those are among the findings of a new study of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors, released this week from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
Overall, the survey found that many Protestant pastors have taken a liking to Pope Francis.
Yoga Alliance: The newly released 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance shows that the number of US yoga practitioners has increased to more than 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012, while annual practitioner spending on yoga classes, clothing, equipment, and accessories rose to $16 billion, up from $10 billion over the past four years.
Fortune Magazine: In 2015 the meditation and mindfulness industry raked in nearly $1 billion, according to research by IBISWorld, which breaks out the category from the alternative health care sector. But even that doesn’t count the revenue from the nearly 1000 mindfulness apps now available, according to Sensor Tower (top app Headspace recently raised $30 million and has been downloaded 6 million times), or the burgeoning category of wearable gadgets designed to help people Zen out (the popular Muse connected headband measures brain activity during meditation for $299).
The UK Guardian: . . . A group of Christians, Muslims and Jews is trying to crowdsource funds to build a place where they can all worship: Berlin’s “House of One” is aiming to become the world’s first building to combine a church, a synagogue and a mosque under one roof.
Washington Post: On campuses across America, the Thought Police have a new tool: Bias Response Teams, administrators who crack down on classroom insensitivity.
More than 100 US colleges have set up BRTs. The newshounds at Heat Street last week dug up a taste of how it works.
A professor at the University of Northern Colorado got visited by the school’s Bias Response Team — for imploring his students to think about opposing viewpoints.
Associated Press: The leaders of the world’s Orthodox Christian churches ended a historic gathering on the Greek island of Crete on Sunday hoping to repeat the meeting within a decade, despite a boycott by the Russian church—the most populous in a religion of some 300 million people — and three other churches.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I led prayers attended by the 10 Orthodox church leaders who attended to mark the end of the weeklong Holy and Great Council — the first of its kind in more than 1,200 years.
Christian News Network: Ten more states have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its requirement that school districts allow male students who identify as female and vice versa to use the restroom that correlates with their “gender identity.”
Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming now join the list of states that are challenging directives from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice issued in May.
NBC News: Israel has accused a manager working for U.S.-headquartered Christian charity World Vision of funneling millions of dollars to Islamist militant group Hamas. Mohammad El Halabi, was arrested by Israel on June 15 while crossing the border into Gaza, World Vision said in a statement. He was charged by Israeli authorities on Thursday. He had run the organization’s Gaza operations since 2010.
Jerusalem Post: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the US, passed two Israel-related resolutions earlier this month at its triennial assembly in New Orleans. One resolution established an “investment screen” that will recommend where Lutherans should invest their money with regard to Israel and the Palestinians. The other urged a cutoff of US aid to Israel unless Israel meets a series of conditions, and calls for the immediate US recognition of “the state of Palestine.” . . . David Brog, of Christians United for Israel, said in a statement that the resolutions “blame Israel and only Israel for the conflict in the Middle East.
Associated Press: Pope Francis urged Lutherans to set aside doctrinal differences Thursday and work with Catholics to care for the poor, the sick and refugees as he laid out his vision for greater communion before his visit to Sweden later this month.
Francis greeted about 1,000 Lutherans who were visiting the Vatican on an ecumenical pilgrimage. They had arrived in Rome from Germany, where Martin Luther famously sparked the Protestant Reformation by nailing his 95 theses to a church door to challenge the abuses of the Catholic Church.
Francis will mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation with his Oct. 31-Nov. 1 visit to Sweden, where he will participate in an ecumenical service with the Lutheran World Federation.
LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails has been following this story for over seven years. We are advocates for the protection of children, even if that sometimes means breaking laws of the land if the laws of the land have become immoral and outrightly harmful to children. Today, still in hiding with her mother, Isabella is nearly 14 years old. The man discussed below helped Lisa and Isabella Miller escape to safety.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
BUFFALO, N.Y. — An American missionary to Nicaragua entered a guilty plea on Wednesday to a charge of conspiracy in international parental kidnapping for helping an ex-lesbian flee the U.S. with her child seven years ago.
“Timo Miller is a good man,” his defense attorney, Jeffrey Conrad of Pennsylvania told the Buffalo News. “He made a mistake and he wants to put this behind him.”
Several supporters sat in the courtroom as Timothy Miller, also known as Timo, entered his plea. Miller lives in Crossville, Tennessee, but conducts missions work with Christian Aid Ministries in Managua, Nicaragua. He appeared in court in Buffalo, N.Y. as that is the location where the stated crime occurred. Click here to continue reading.
LifeWay Resources (SBC) Stops Selling Same-Sex Marriage Promoter Jen Hatmaker . . . But LifeWay Still Not Seeing the Big Picture
According to a Christianity Today article, LifeWay Resources (the Southern Baptist Convention resource arm) has stopped selling products by Jen Hatmaker because of her promotion of same-sex marriage. The CT article stated:
Jen Hatmaker posted a 650-word response on her Facebook page Monday, saying she “wrestled with and through Scripture, not around it” before coming to a decision to affirm same-sex relationships, which recently led to LifeWay Christian Resources pulling her books from its stores.
Hatmaker has been the topic of Lighthouse Trails articles and Cedric Fisher’s booklet called IF it is of God: Answering the Questions About IF: Gathering as she is part of the group of women who head up the women’s movement called IF: Gathering. You can read that booklet by Fisher by clicking here. In Fisher’s booklet, he says this about Jen Hatmaker:
In Jen Hatmaker’s book, Interrupted: When Jesus Wreck Your Comfortable Christianity, she makes it clear that she is influenced by a number of New Age/New Spirituality individuals. She quotes Catholic priest and contemplative activist Richard Rohr and emergent leader Shane Claiborne. On her blog, she promotes the book, The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson, a book that encourages readers to draw circles around specific things in order to have more answered prayers. Batterson was inspired with this idea by an ancient sage.
In Hatmaker’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, she reveals that her family takes part in a Roman Catholic ritual with mystical origins, the “Seven Sacred Pauses.” Hatmaker got her inspiration from Seven Sacred Pauses, a book by Macrina Wiederkehr who is a spiritual director in the contemplative prayer movement. In Wiederkehr’s retreats, seekers are guided through experiences of silence, contemplation and lectio divina (a contemplative practice where words and phrases from the Bible are repeated in mantra-like fashion). The “seven sacred pauses” are seven times a day to pause and pray, which Wiederkehr describes as “breathing spells for the soul.”
Consider Hatmaker’s statement concerning the preaching of God’s Word:
“I have spent half my life listening to someone else talk about God. Because of this history, I’ve developed something of an immunity to sermons.”
This is eerily similar to the sentiment of Sue Monk Kidd (author of The Secret Life of Bees), who once, as a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher, expressed her dissatisfaction (and eventual rejection) of the preaching of God’s Word. That led Monk Kidd down a path away from the Christian faith and straight into the New Age. Today, she worships the goddess Sophia.
This disgruntlement of God’s Word is so prevalent among leaders of the emerging New Spirituality church. If not preaching, then what? Is it emotionally charged conventions and books with flowering, poetic phrases that open up to spit out a toxic drop of heresy? If Hatmaker is immune to preaching, she has rejected God’s method in favor of her own. (source and footnotes)
While LifeWay did the right thing in dropping Hatmaker’s products, they still do not see the big picture as they keep a tight grasp on numerous problematic authors such as Sarah Young (and her cash-cow Jesus Calling books and Bibles), Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Gary Thomas, Ruth Haley Barton, and many more contemplative, emergent authors.
The fact that LifeWay will remove books by someone promoting same-sex marriage but not remove books by authors who promote a mystical, panentheistic interspiritual prayer shows once again that Christian leaders and ministries just don’t get it. How is it that one is OK and the other is not? After all, they are both going in the same direction, and that is away from the Gospel and away from God’s Word. Where are the overseers of LifeWay and the Southern Baptist Convention? Surely, they are learned men who should be able to figure this out.
Nearly 9,000 Join Brief to Supreme Court in Support of School Board’s Refusal to Allow Girl in Boys’ Restroom
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
WASHINGTON — Nearly 9,000 people added their names to a legal brief this past week in support of a Virginia school board’s appeal of a ruling requiring that it allow a female student who identifies as male to use the boys’ restroom.
8,914 students, parents and other residents from across the country included their name in the friend of the court brief filed by the religious liberties organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on Wednesday. Over 40 state family policy organizations, such as the Family Policy Institute of Washington, North Carolina Values, and the New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation, were a part of the brief as well.
“Placing students in circumstances where their privacy is compromised and they are at risk of bodily exposure in the vicinity of members of the opposite sex is not only demeaning and humiliating, but also denies individuals’ personal dignity,” it reads. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Another case of the American courts seeking to scare the American public into submission by going after the minority in this country who will stand up for what is right.
“Virginia Man Found Guilty of ‘International Kidnapping’ for Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter”
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Virginia man who was accused of helping an ex-lesbian flee the country with her daughter has been declared guilty of international parental kidnapping and conspiracy.
A jury handed down the verdict on Thursday after a nearly two-week trial, which centered not on whether businessman Philip Zodhiates of Waynesboro helped Lisa Miller seven years ago, but whether he did it out of the generosity of his heart or to keep the girl away from Miller’s ex-partner.
“We had a lot of evidence about intent,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Van de Graaf, who served as one of the prosecutors in the case, told reporters following the verdict. “We also had strong evidence about the secrecy and deception used by the defendant.”
“Lisa’s secrecy and deception should not rub off on Philip,” argued Robert Hemley, one of Zodhiates’ defense attorneys. “There is no such thing as guilt by association.”
He faces up to eight years behind bars and a $500,000 fine. Zodhiates will be sentenced on January 30. Click here to continue reading.
Graphic Artist Challenges State Law Forbidding Her From Declining Creation of Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Sites
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
DENVER, Co. — A graphic artist in Colorado has filed a preemptive lawsuit to challenge a state law that she says forbids her from turning down orders to create websites in favor of same-sex “marriage.”
Lorie Smith runs 303 Creative, where she creates custom websites for clients. Smith, who identifies as a Christian, believes that God has called her to “promote and celebrate His design for marriage by designing and creating custom wedding websites.” This would therefore not include designing websites pertaining to homosexual nuptials.
But Colorado law states that it is “unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation.”
Businesses are also prohibited from publishing or posting any information that advises their intent to refuse such accommodation. Smith had planned on outlining on her website why she could only accept site creation orders pertaining to the union of a man and a woman. Click here to continue reading.