Stay-at-home mothers ‘have the most worthwhile lives’

Official ‘well-being’ index shows those who do not work because they are caring for children or loved-ones have strongest belief that their life is ‘worthwhile’

Talking to and cuddling your children regularly helps their development, says Laura Perrins

Those who do not work to care for children or loved-ones have strongest sense their lives are ‘worthwhile’

New findings from the UK’s national “well-being” index show that those classed as economically inactive because they are caring for a family or home are also among the happiest people in Britain.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, also show that people across the UK have got progressively happier, less anxious and more satisfied with their lives in the past year.

The improvement is thought to be linked to the economic recovery and falling unemployment – even if people are not necessarily better off than a year ago.

The ONS said the improvement appeared to be linked to optimism and improvements in people’s personal situations even though typical household incomes are lower in real terms.

The latest figures also suggest that the 70s are the golden decade of life, with the highest proportion of people rating their personal happiness at the top of the scale.

Meanwhile, they confirm Northern Ireland as the happiest place in the UK topping the national league tables both on a regional and local level.

Four of the five happiest local authority areas in the UK are located in the province – Antrim, Fermanagh, Omagh and Dungannon – with Babergh in Suffolk the only place in mainland Britain making it into the top five.

As part of a programme backed by David Cameron to measure the nation’s well-being, people were asked to rate their lives on a scale of nought to 10.

They were asked to do this in relation to four separate questions: how satisfied they are with their lives overall; whether they feel that what they do is worthwhile; how happy they were the previous day and how anxious they were the previous day.

The average rating for life satisfaction across the UK was 7.5 out of 10 – up 0.06 points on last year while the typical rating for feeling worthwhile also edged upwards to 7.7.

Average scores for how happy people felt the previous day also rose steadily to 7.4 while anxiety ratings fell to 2.9 on average.

The ONS also analysed the findings on the basis of personal characteristics such as people’s marital status, health, or employment situation.

When the results are broken down by work status pensioners emerged as the happiest overall, with a rating of 7.73 out of 10, but students and stay-at-home mothers or carers also scored noticeably higher than average.

But when responses to the question on how “worthwhile” people consider what they do in life to be were analysed, those looking after home or family emerged well ahead of other groups, scoring 8.03 out of 10 on average.

Overall 83 per cent of full-time parents and carers rated their sense of worth as high or very high.

Laura Perrin, a barrister turned full-time mother who campaigns from the group Mothers At Home Matter said the figures showed that government policies designed to encourage more parents to work full time could be doing more harm than good.

“This just goes to show that the idea that we are all at home depressed and unhappy looking after our own children – which a lot of politicians would like to believe – is simply wrong,” she said.

“It is clearly a worthwhile vocation, should you choose to do it.”

The group campaigns for greater recognition of marriage and traditional family life in the tax system. It argues that the Coalition’s childcare tax breaks for couples in which both parents work, penalises families in which one parent has given up work to care for the children.

“David Cameron has set his face against the more traditional set-up with a mother at home caring for her children but his own figures show that not only are they happy but they recognise their lives are worthwhile,” she said.

“They are not only making their own family happy but also making a contribution to society as a whole.

“They should stop their constant campaign against the more traditional set-up”.

Dawn Snape, co-author of the report, said the consistently high happiness and life satisfaction ratings from people in Northern Ireland could not be explained in purely economic terms.

“Aren’t they great?” she said.

“They’re a real conundrum for us.

“Unemployment is high yet they really buck the trend – at the moment we don’t know the answer to this.

“It may be down to social connectivity, a great sense of community, maybe it is down to how life is going there now compared with 15 years ago.”

“It is not clear to us yet, we need to do more (research). But it seems quite consistent that people in Northern Ireland rate their wellbeing at a very high level. They have a positive outlook.”

AC Grayling’s call to abolish RE in schools is dangerously ignorant

A couple of weeks ago I was in a conversation with a BBC producer discussing faith schools and their admissions policies. We talked about the possibility of my appearance on BBC1′s Sunday Morning Live to debate the subject.

In the end it didn’t happen, but I wish I’d had the chance to take on the British Humanist Association’s chief executive, Andrew Copson, as he repeatedly made claims that there was factual evidence that faith schools select wealthy pupils by the backdoor, are divisive and basically have nothing good to offer. He didn’t mention that the ‘factual evidence’ was drawn from the BHA’s own research which only suggests that these might be the case if you join a few dots and squint a bit.

Faith-school bashing continues to be a popular pastime for the BHA and their friends but given that they employ someone full-time to campaign for their abolition,  it’s not entirely surprising; they’ve got to do something to keep themselves busy after all. It also doesn’t help that the Accord Coalition, which includes the BHA alongside the NUT and ATL teachers’ unions, campaigns against faith school admission policies with the support of an eclectic bunch of religious individuals.

“Look!” they say, “It’s not just humanists who don’t like faith schools; there are plenty of religious  leaders who have a problem with them too.” Even though the majority of these ‘leaders’ represent a miniscule number of people. Still, it adds enough credence to their message for the media to take notice and sow a few more seeds of doubt as to whether faith schools should be allowed to carry on as they are despite their continuing success and popularity.

The Accord Coalition might want to dump admission policies based on belief and collective worship, but they do at least admit that Religious Education serves a useful purpose. Apparently not all of their public supporters agree with this, though. The Philosopher AC Grayling, who has been referred to as the ‘Fifth Horseman of New Atheism’, may have his face on the Accord website, but he has written a stinging attack in this week’s Times Education Supplement on not just faith schools but the entire subject of RE, which he sees as being no more than a sad and pathetic branch of philosophy.

AC Grayling is a clever man who has held a number of high-profile positions and now appears to want to take over the role of arch-antagonist-towards-all-things-religious from Richard Dawkins. He has plenty of form when it comes to this matter, having described religious indoctrination of small children as “child abuse” in the past. In his five-page feature that will be sitting on the coffee tables of staff rooms across the country right now, he continues the dogged bombardment, setting out to undermine Religious Education legitimacy as a subject within the school curriculum. He writes:

Suppose that instead of RE, schools taught the history of humanity’s attempts to make sense of itself and the world around it. In this system, it would be seen that religions are just part – and truth be told, a rather primitive part – of a much larger and more complex adventure of thought…

Placing religion in this much larger context dramatically changes how it is viewed by students. How would our schoolchildren react to the Christian story, for example, if they knew that it was an iteration of commonplace tales abounding in Egyptian and Greek mythology? One could show how every feature of the Christian story is lifted from earlier mythologies.

Moreover, the “answers to the deepest questions in life” offered by religions are often very bad ones, and it needs to be made clear that much better answers exist in the secular traditions of thought.

RE should be replaced with a far more general history of ideas, in which the various beliefs of the world are merely one strand. Knowing something about religions is good; it is often remarked that otherwise one could not make sense of paintings in a public art gallery, and this is true.

Religion is organised superstition, and setting an example for children to respect superstition is wrong… The stories are silly, the promises vague and the concepts largely undefined.

Grayling is right when he says that philosophy should be an established part of children’s education, but his view of religion as a feeble-minded strand of it exposes how little he understands about the nature of religion. If all religions were like Buddhism, which requires no belief in the supernatural, then he might have a point. But reducing religious faith to a set of ideas and fairytales that can be fully explained away at a purely rational level completely misunderstands what it means to believe in the existence of a God or gods. Grayling reveals that his atheistic mind is unable to make sense of this and it leaves him little option but to dismiss it all, lock, stock and barrel. To him, religion is little more than an outdated curiosity.

Perhaps AC Grayling could do with a gentle reminder that, as an atheist, he is in a small minority in this country and even more so globally. Atheists make up 2 per cent of the world’s population and the non-religious another 16 per cent. That leaves 5.9 billion supposedly deluded people he and his comrades in atheism have to convince that religion is of no real significance.

It would be an interesting experiment to put Grayling’s proposals into practice and allow him to do the teaching. Would he be able to teach all aspects of philosophy and a neutered version of religion in a way that genuinely allowed pupils to make up their own minds entirely without prejudice? Given his inability to give the New Testament account of Jesus’ life a fair hearing, would he be able to find a way to impart to his students what he has been unable to do himself?

Grayling, in his own disgust, appears to have missed a basic truth. As soon as you begin to teach children, you start to impart your values and understanding of the world on to them. Encouraging independent thinking is not the same as passing on knowledge, and this is always under the control of the teacher. If the whole concept of God is a load of rubbish, then Grayling may potentially have a point about child abuse, but if God is real in any form, then surely Grayling’s staunch atheistic approach is actually the one that is potentially more abusive to children.

We are painfully aware in these times that religious belief can lead to suffering, division and bloodshed. But it is also capable of producing far more good than evil. Deliberately reducing a generation’s already-slender grasp of religion and belief is not going to do anything to increase community cohesion in our multicultural society or make sense of the role of religion in the politics and conflicts we are witnessing daily further afield. Ignorance is certainly not bliss in this case.

Religious Education is far from perfect as it stands. The Church of England revealed last week that more than half of its primary schools are delivering poor quality RE lessons which give pupils little more than a “superficial” grounding in the subject. This serious failure to deliver acceptable levels of understanding is not going to be fixed by abandonment. Instead, there needs to be a move away from the observation and study of religious paraphernalia to the understanding of core theologies and the impact of faith on the lives of individuals and groups.

AC Grayling’s views on this matter are both blinkered and dangerously ignorant. Those who oversee the delivery of Religious Education would do well to look elsewhere for wise advice on the subject’s future.

Chairman’s September Pastoral Letter

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friendsBP Eliud

from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya

and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council

September 23, 2014

‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who if of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite.’ Isaiah 57:15

My dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Here in Nairobi, we have just concluded our Divine Conference. We have enjoyed four wonderful days of fellowship, worship and teaching as hundreds of people have been drawn daily to hear God’s Word at All Saints Cathedral. We have come to the Lord in repentance and we have experienced the truth of the great promise we have in Isaiah 57:15, that the God who dwells in the splendour of holiness also dwells with the contrite and lowly. God has indeed drawn near. He has saved the lost, brought back the wanderers, lifted our burdens and given us a new joy in Jesus the Son of God, in whom all His promises are fulfilled.

Many of us were also present last October for GAFCON 2013 and I have encouraged people to think of the Divine Conference as  ‘Continuing GAFCON’. In the Nairobi Commitment and Communiqué, we stated our intention to become much more than a big conference every five years.  As long as the Great Commission is at risk through the promotion and toleration of false teaching and immorality in the Anglican Communion, we must have ‘Continuing GAFCON’.

Our Divine Conference reflected the partnership we have with other Confessing Anglicans as we welcomed international guests and speakers from other nations, including Uganda, the UK and the Anglican Church of North America. My brother Archbishop Stanley Ntagali reminded us that true unity comes when Christ is at the centre of the Church and urged us to see that ‘GAFCON is a revival movement to revive the Anglican Communion’.

We were also delighted to receive greetings from Archbishop Foley Beach through his special representative, Canon Alan Hawkins, and a mission team of church planters from the Anglican Church of North America’s Greenhouse Movement came alongside parishes in Nairobi and joined us for the conference. All Saints Cathedral and Greenhouse have now committed to reciprocal mission visits and I rejoice to see the GAFCON vision for faithful global mission being put into practice in this very practical way between the great cities of Nairobi and Chicago. I hope this will be the first of many similar initiatives.

In the twenty first century, it is becoming clear that we must see the once missionary nations of the West as now themselves mission fields. The fact that the United Kingdom came close to breaking up last week is a symptom of the disintegration that follows when a once common Christian faith has been lost and I want to appreciate the work of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) who are sharing with other mission minded Anglicans in England as they meet for the ‘ReNew’ Conference this week.

AMiE is authorised by the GAFCON Primates to work within and, where necessary, outside the structures of the Church of England as a missionary society. In my message of greeting to the conference I said ‘We understand the challenges that faithful Anglicans face in England.  At GAFCON 2013 here in Nairobi we recognised that the focus of the struggle for biblical faithfulness has shifted from North America to England. The temptation to dilute the message of Jesus Christ and compromise with the surrounding culture is strong, so it is vital for the gospel in England, and also for the world, that you continue as a beacon to the revealed truth of the Scriptures. The salvation of people from hell is at stake. So nothing could be more important.’

As Chairman of GAFCON I give thanks to God as I see brothers an sisters in Christ round the world standing firm and partnering together to make known the good news of our Lord Jesus in season and out of season.

Finally, let us not forget those who are suffering. The terrible barbarities of ISIL have focussed our minds on the evil that has befallen many believers in the Middle East and those facing similar threats in other parts of the world.  Let us be steadfast in prayer for them and trust God that the ancient Churches of their lands will, by God’s grace and power, rise from the ashes. And may their suffering strengthen our resolve to be faithful soldiers and servants of Jesus Christ wherever we are, knowing that nothing can separate is from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Posted September 25, 2014

Biblical Theology and the Sexuality Crisis

Biblical Theology and the Sexuality Crisis

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Western society is currently experiencing what can only be described as a moral revolution. Our society’s moral code and collective ethical evaluation on a particular issue has undergone not small adjustments but a complete reversal. That which was once condemned is now celebrated, and the refusal to celebrate is now condemned.

What makes the current moral and sexual revolution so different from previous moral revolutions is that it is taking place at an utterly unprecedented velocity. Previous generations experienced moral revolutions over decades, even centuries. This current revolution is happening at warp speed.

As the church responds to this revolution, we must remember that current debates on sexuality present to the church a crisis that is irreducibly and inescapably theological. This crisis is tantamount to the type of theological crisis that Gnosticism presented to the early church or that Pelagianism presented to the church in the time of Augustine. In other words, the crisis of sexuality challenges the church’s understanding of the gospel, sin, salvation, and sanctification. Advocates of the new sexuality demand a complete rewriting of Scripture’s metanarrative, a complete reordering of theology, and a fundamental change to how we think about the church’s ministry.

Why the Concordance Method Fails

Proof-texting is the first reflex of conservative Protestants seeking a strategy of theological retrieval and restatement. This hermeneutical reflex comes naturally to evangelical Christians because we believe the Bible to be the inerrant and infallible word of God. We understand that, as B.B. Warfield said, “When Scripture speaks, God speaks.” I should make clear that this reflex is not entirely wrong, but it’s not entirely right either. It’s not entirely wrong because certain Scriptures (that is, “proof texts”) speak to specific issues in a direct and identifiable way.

There are, however, obvious limitations to this type of theological method—what I like to call the “concordance reflex.” What happens when you are wrestling with a theological issue for which no corresponding word appears in the concordance? Many of the most important theological issues cannot be reduced to merely finding relevant words and their corresponding verses in a concordance. Try looking up “transgender” in your concordance. How about “lesbian”? Or “in vitro fertilization”? They’re certainly not in the back of my Bible.

It’s not that Scripture is insufficient. The problem is not a failure of Scripture but a failure of our approach to Scripture. The concordance approach to theology produces a flat Bible without context, covenant, or master-narrative—three hermeneutical foundations that are essential to understand Scripture rightly.

Needed:  A Biblical Theology of the Body

Biblical theology is absolutely indispensable for the church to craft an appropriate response to the current sexual crisis. The church must learn to read Scripture according to its context, embedded in its master-narrative, and progressively revealed along covenantal lines. We must learn to interpret each theological issue through Scripture’s metanarrative of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. Specifically, evangelicals need a theology of the body that is anchored in the Bible’s own unfolding drama of redemption.

Movement One — Creation

Genesis 1:26–28 indicates that God made man—unlike the rest of creation—in his own image. This passage also demonstrates that God’s purpose for humanity was an embodied existence. Genesis 2:7 highlights this point as well. God makes man out of the dust and then breathes into him the breath of life. This indicates that we were a body before we were a person. The body, as it turns out, is not incidental to our personhood. Adam and Eve are given the commission to multiply and subdue the earth. Their bodies allow them, by God’s creation and his sovereign plan, to fulfill that task of image-bearing.

The Genesis narrative also suggests that the body comes with needs. Adam would be hungry, so God gave him the fruit of the garden. These needs are an expression embedded within the created order that Adam is finite, dependent, and derived.

Further, Adam would have a need for companionship, so God gave him a wife, Eve. Both Adam and Eve were to fulfill the mandate to multiply and fill the earth with God’s image-bearers by a proper use of the bodily reproductive ability with which they were created. Coupled with this is the bodily pleasure each would experience as the two became one flesh—that is, one body.

The Genesis narrative also demonstrates that gender is part of the goodness of God’s creation. Gender is not merely a sociological construct forced upon human beings who otherwise could negotiate any number of permutations.

But Genesis teaches us that gender is created by God for our good and his glory. Gender is intended for human flourishing and is assigned by the Creator’s determination—just as he determined whenwhere, and that we should exist.

In sum, God created his image as an embodied person. As embodied, we are given the gift and stewardship of sexuality from God himself. We are constructed in a way that testifies to God’s purposes in this.

Genesis also frames this entire discussion in a covenantal perspective. Human reproduction is not merely in order to propagate the race. Instead, reproduction highlights the fact that Adam and Eve were to multiply in order to fill the earth with the glory of God as reflected by his image bearers.

Movement Two — The Fall

The fall, the second movement in redemptive history, corrupts God’s good gift of the body. The entrance of sin brings mortality to the body. In terms of sexuality, the Fall subverts God’s good plans for sexual complementarity. Eve’s desire is to rule over her husband (Gen. 3:16). Adam’s leadership will be harsh (3:17-19). Eve will experience pain in childbearing (3:16).

The narratives that follow demonstrate the development of aberrant sexual practices, from polygamy to rape, which Scripture addresses with remarkable candor. These Genesis accounts are followed by the giving of the Law which is intended to curb aberrant sexual behavior. It regulates sexuality and expressions of gender and makes clear pronouncements on sexual morals, cross-dressing, marriage, divorce, and host of other bodily and sexual matters.

The Old Testament also connects sexual sin to idolatry. Orgiastic worship, temple prostitution, and other horrible distortions of God’s good gift of the body are all seen as part and parcel of idolatrous worship. The same connection is made by Paul in Romans 1. Having “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (Rom 1:22), and having “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Rom 1:25), men and women exchange their natural relations with one another (Rom 1:26-27).

Movement Three — Redemption

With regard to redemption, we must note that one of the most important aspects of our redemption is that it came by way of a Savior with a body. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14; cf. Phil. 2:5-11). Human redemption is accomplished by the Son of God incarnate—who remains incarnate eternally.

Paul indicates that this salvation includes not merely our souls but also our bodies. Romans 6:12 speaks of sin that reigns in our “mortal bodies”—which implies the hope of future bodily redemption. Romans 8:23 indicates part of our eschatological hope is the “redemption of our bodies.” Even now, in our life of sanctification we are commanded to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God in worship (Rom. 12:2). Further, Paul describes the redeemed body as a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) and clearly we must understand sanctification as having effects upon the body.

Sexual ethics in the New Testament, as in the Old Testament, regulate our expressions of gender and sexuality.Porneia, sexual immorality of any kind, is categorically condemned by Jesus and the apostles. Likewise, Paul clearly indicates to the church at Corinth that sexual sin—sins committed in the body (1 Cor. 6:18)—are what bring the church and the gospel into disrepute because they proclaim to a watching world that the gospel has been to no effect (1 Cor. 5-6).

Movement Four — New Creation

Finally, we reach the fourth and final act of the drama of redemption—new creation. In 1 Corinthians 15:42-57, Paul directs us not only to the resurrection of our own bodies in the new creation but to the fact that Christ’s bodily resurrection is the promise and power for that future hope. Our resurrection will be the experience of eternal glory in the body. This body will be a transformed, consummated continuation of our present embodied existence in the same way that Jesus’ body is the same body he had on earth, yet utterly glorified.

The new creation will not simply be a reset of the garden. It will be better than Eden. As Calvin noted, in the new creation we will know God not only as Creator but as Redeemer—and that redemption includes our bodies. We will reign with Christ in bodily form, as he also is the embodied and reigning cosmic Lord.

In terms of our sexuality, while gender will remain in the new creation, sexual activity will not. It is not that sex is nullified in the resurrection; rather, it is fulfilled. The eschatological marriage supper of the Lamb, to which marriage and sexuality point, will finally arrive. No longer will there be any need to fill the earth with image-bearers as was the case in Genesis 1. Instead, the earth will be filled with knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

Biblical Theology Is Indispensable 

The sexuality crisis has demonstrated the failure of theological method on the part of many pastors. The “concordance reflex” simply cannot accomplish the type of rigorous theological thinking needed in pulpits today. Pastors and churches must learn the indispensability of biblical theology and must practice reading Scripture according to its own internal logic—the logic of a story that moves from creation to new creation. The hermeneutical task before us is great, but it is also indispensable for faithful evangelical engagement with the culture.

Multiculturalism, Islam, and the War on the West

For some reason the Western world has embraced one stupid idea after another, most of which are contributing greatly to the West’s downfall. There are many candidates here which can be mentioned, but the multiculti brigade has to be right up there on top of the list.

It may have had some good intentions early on, such as everyone living together happily and harmoniously, but intentions must always match up with reality. And the reality is, all cultures are not the same; not all cultures are compatible; and some cultures have vowed to destroy other cultures.

islam 33Multiculturalism has especially been disastrous when it tries to deny these realities in regards to Islam. Islamic culture is not the same as that of the West; Islam is not compatible with the free and democratic West; and Islam has declared its intention to destroy the West.

Yet the brainless wonders leading the West think we can just ignore all these inconvenient truths, and still rush full steam ahead with the failed policies of multiculturalism. But with Islam in the West causing all sorts of major problems – including plenty of murder and mayhem – some Western nations are slowly starting to wake up.

Some countries are having a major rethink about all this. Four recent articles from three different nations have all highlighted these truths and are worth sharing parts of. Let me begin in the US with commentator Walter Williams. He minces no words in his title: “Multiculturalism Is a Failure”. He begins:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that in Germany, multiculturalism has “utterly failed.” Both Australia’s ex-prime minister John Howard and Spain’s ex-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar reached the same conclusion about multiculturalism in their countries. British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that multiculturalism is fostering extremist ideology and directly contributing to homegrown Islamic terrorism. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the United Kingdom’s push for multiculturalism has not united Britons but pushed them apart. It has allowed for Islam to emerge despite Britain’s Judeo-Christian culture. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the roots of violent Islamism are not “superficial but deep” and can be found “in the extremist minority that now, in every European city, preach hatred of the West and our way of life.”
The bottom line is that much of the Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. There’s no question that the West has the military might to thwart radical Islam’s agenda. The question up for grabs is whether we have the intelligence to recognize the attack and the will to defend ourselves from annihilation. Multiculturalism is Islamists’ foot in the door. At the heart of multiculturalism is an attack on Western and Christian values….
Multiculturalists argue that different cultural values are morally equivalent. That’s nonsense. Western culture and values are superior. For those who’d accuse me of Eurocentrism, I’d ask: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan; is it morally equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits placed on women, such as prohibitions on driving, employment and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves face the punishment of having their hand severed. In some countries, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. Are these cultural values morally equivalent, superior or inferior to Western values?

Daniel Greenfield argues that “Moderate Islam Is Multiculturalism Misspelled”. He writes:

I have been searching for moderate Islam since September 11 and just like a lost sock in the dryer, it was in the last place I expected it to be. There is no moderate Islam in the mosques or in Mecca. You won’t find it in the Koran or the Hadiths. If you want to find moderate Islam, browse the newspaper editorials after a terrorist attack or take a course on Islamic religion taught by a Unitarian Sociologist wearing fake native jewelry. You can’t find a moderate Islam in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but you can find it in countless network news specials, articles and books about the two homelands of their respective brands of Islam.
You won’t find the fabled land of moderate Muslims in the east. You won’t even find it in the west. Like all myths it exists in the imagination of those who tell the stories. You won’t find a moderate Islam in the Koran, but you will find it in countless Western books about Islam. Moderate Islam isn’t what most Muslims believe. It’s what most liberals believe that Muslims believe. The new multicultural theology of the West is moderate Islam. Moderate Islam is the perfect religion for a secular age since it isn’t a religion at all….
The true moderate Muslims are secular liberals of loosely Christian and Jewish persuasion who have invented and believe in a moderate Islam that doesn’t exist outside of their own heads. This secular Islam, which values all life, is dedicated to social justice and universal tolerance, is a counterpart of their own bastardized religions. And they are too afraid to wake up and realize that it doesn’t exist.
When American and European leaders insist that Islam has nothing to do with the latest Islamic atrocity, they are not referencing a religion practiced by Muslims, but an imaginary religion that they imagine Muslims must practice because the alternative is the end of everything that they believe in.
Their moderate Islam is light on the details, beyond standing for social justice, fighting Global Warming and supporting gay rights, because it is really multiculturalism wearing a fake beard. When a Western leader claims that the latest batch of Islamic terrorists don’t speak for Islam, he isn’t defending Muslims, he’s defending multiculturalism. He assumes that Muslims believe in multiculturalism because he does. Moderate Islam is just multiculturalism misspelled. Its existence is a firm article of faith for those who believe in multiculturalism.

Moving to the UK, let me quote from a piece on Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage:

According to Farage, much of that can be tied to the United Kingdom’s push for multiculturalism, which has not united Brits but pushed them apart. As he explained, it has allowed for Islam to emerge despite his nation’s Judeo-Christian culture.
“We’ve seen an increased radicalization within the United Kingdom, much of this I’m afraid to say is a self-inflicted wound. We’ve had four decades of state-sponsored multiculturalism. We’ve actually encouraged people not to come together and be British but to live separately, to live apart. … There are similarities [to the United States]. We even have the last Archbishop of Canterbury suggesting that Sharia law be acceptable in British cities. So, I’m afraid we have been weak and we have not been muscular in standing up and saying to people, ‘We are a Christian country. We have a Christian constitution, a Judeo-Christian culture. We’ve allowed our schools to be infiltrated. Our prisons, you know, are now perhaps where jihadism is on the march more rapidly than anywhere else. Much of this we’ve done to ourselves.”

Finally, Australian journalist Piers Akerman explains why it is time to dump multiculturalism:

The war against terror in Australia will count for nothing unless it is accompanied by a war against the culture that permitted terrorism to gain a foothold in the country. That would be the invidious policy of multiculturalism promoted by the Whitlam government’s notorious minister for immigration Al Grassby….
Multiculturalism is a great example of elitist policy-making that should be dumped. Since the Leftist intelligentsia launched the French Revolution, Leftist elites have triggered top-down revolutions with results in Russia, China, South-East Asia and South and Central America.
Grassby and others within the Labor Party and the academia have promoted culturally undermining policies of moral equivalence of which multiculturalism is but one manifestation. Unfortunately for Australian Aboriginals, the ambition to create some form of constitutional recognition, either through a preamble, or by change to the constitution, will inevitably fail as most Australians will view any attempt at creating distinctions between Australian citizens with justifiable suspicion. Yet multiculturalism does just that and taxpayers are required to underwrite an invidious policy that encourages division and repels integration….
The great irony is the Western youth revolutions of the ’60s were all anti-authoritarian. The young then wanted policies that broke strict cultural taboos – and they won. Yet the young terrorists flocking to the death cult’s black flag want to submit to the globe’s most severe form of religious authoritarianism.

All four of these articles are well worth reading in their entirety. Many social and political commentators are starting to get it, as are some Western leaders. But if we don’t want the failed and dangerous dreams of the multiculti clique to be realised, we will need many more of our leaders to wake up, and to wake up fast.

The Intensifying Attack on Christian Institutions

y Rick Plasterer
http://juicyecumenism.com/

The next stage in the culture war over religion, fueled from the gains of recent years by social liberals in public opinion, a two term liberal Democratic presidency, and liberal judicial appointments, appears to be unfolding in the use of antidiscrimination doctrine to attack Christian institutions. Although threats do exist to the primary religious institutions — houses of worship — it is those that provide social services as a religious activity, namely religiously affiliated schools, hospitals, and charities that are most directly threatened. These have been a refuge for Christians, or other believers, from the secularization of the twentieth, and now twenty-first, centuries. Service to the poor and suffering and the education of the young are both Biblical commands, and thus, in the American rights-oriented context, should be understood as an exercise of religion. Heretofore our legal system has permitted religious education and social service without seriously impinging on their religious character. Now we may be seeing the beginning of the end of educational and social services that are in any serious way religious rather than secular.

For educational institutions, there are three notable areas which could be subject to attack: state aid to education, tax exempt status, and accreditation. State aid involves most notably state financial assistance to students through work-study programs or other assistance, the threat to tax exempt status comes in tying tax exemption to agreement with fundamental public policy objectives, the threat to accreditation represents the ultimate threat short of making specifically Christian educational institutions illegal.

That religious education should be legal at a primary and secondary level was determined by the Pierce decision in 1925, which concerned an effort at that time to suppress Catholic education. Federal law and regulation since that time has protected the right of religious schools to teach a distinctively religious curriculum. The position of anyone who teaches a religious curriculum is exempt from the antidiscrimination regime under the constitutional “ministerial exception,” while such an educational institution is exempt from antidiscrimination considerations as far as matters of religious affiliation are concerned.

What in religious institutions has not been protected from the antidiscrimination regime (except where the ministerial exception applies, as noted by the EEOC) are non-religious categories, race, sex, and now by extension, sexual orientation. It is this circumstance, originally established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and confirmed by the ominous Bob Jones University case, decided by the Supreme Court in 1983, which has given those hostile to the conservative Christian subculture in the contemporary world, and its possible influence on the wider culture, a weapon to attack that subculture using antidiscrimination law and policy.

The Bob Jones University decision, rendered by the Supreme Court in 1983, determined that a lower court was correct to take away the school’s tax exemption because its policy against interracial dating, although religiously based, was contrary to fundamental public policy. Thus, the key question of the case — does religious freedom prevail when the liberal/left conscience is offended — was clearly answered in the negative. In the thirty years since, this infringement of religious liberty has not caused grave problems, mainly because racial separation is not part of core Christian doctrine, and not doctrine at all for the great majority of believers. But the arrival of sexual orientation as a real or possible antidiscrimination category does present a terrible situation in which the religious character of an institution is gravely imperiled by antidiscrimination law and policy.

The attempt to make sexual orientation a federal employment nondiscrimination category has been advanced for more than a decade by the federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act (many states also have their own ENDAs). Fought for many years as a threat to the religious liberty of private employers, it nonetheless had a strong exemption for religious institutions. This became unacceptable in the past year to the cultural left in its polemic against religious liberty as the battle over liberty of conscience for businesses became intense, with the result that the Left withdrew its support for a bill with religious exemptions. But as with many other issues, the Obama Administration has tried to do with executive action what could not be achieved legislatively. While applying only to federal contractors, Obama’s executive order making sexual orientation a nondiscrimination category for federal contracts resulted in an (unsuccessful) outcry for religious exemptions. Among those strongly opposed was the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. From one such appeal, to which the President of Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts affixed his signature, there resulted a fierce backlash in the press, as noted by Prof. Denny Burk of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, shortly after the furor erupted. He also noted that no distinction was being drawn between sexual identity and behavior, an essential distinction for Christians that liberal/left partisans refuse to accept. In a separate article, Burk discussed the current claim of leftist legal scholars that antidiscrimination doctrine requires the government to disfavor any religious group which opposes the “equality” doctrine in any of the doctrine’s categories, not just race. This would mean, most importantly, that Christian sexual morality could not be a requirement for students, employees, or faculty (if it can be argued the ministerial exception does not apply to them), since in the liberal/left understanding of antidiscrimination doctrine, there can be no adverse judgments about behavior as well as identity.

Christian sexual morality involves, in addition to its prohibitions, recognition of only the two natural sexes and their separation outside of marriage to ensure their privacy and comfort. This heretofore universal practice, without which many people would consider their privacy intolerably invaded, is also under attack as part of the antidiscrimination program. Currently George Fox University, a Christian institution in Oregon was sued by a transgender student, demanding access to the housing facilities of the sex being transitioned to. Clear in the complaint against the Christian university and a similar one against California Baptist University is the claim that transsexuals may not be refused admission, although a religious school might have a doctrinal objection to sex changes. This refusal to respect mores contrary to the prevailing antidiscrimination regime at private, voluntary, religious institutions was recently supported by the New York Times, which, of course, reflects prevailing opinion of the Left. A somewhat similar situation occurred in 2011, when the Catholic University of America reestablished same-sex dorms. A lawsuit challenging the action was dismissed, but the fact that Catholic University is a private, voluntary, and religious institution, which until the present generation would have made it obvious to all that same-sex dorms were the school’s own business as a matter of religious freedom, no longer counts with an influential part of the population. Only a monolithic culture, that has accepted the sexual revolution, will do.

While the religious character of a Christian institution is seriously impaired, really to the point of not being Christian, if it acquiesces in abandoning sexual standards of behavior, not even this is the end of the line for secularists. The very idea of a Christian institution with an orthodox doctrinal commitment is held to violate “academic freedom,” which requires the “primacy of reason.” This was discussed by Alan Jacobs in a recent article in New Atlantis, who referred to such a claim by University of Pennsylvania professor Peter Conn. Jacobs correctly pointed out that a rationalist commitment (that reason must be unaided) is as much an act of faith as a frank commitment to particular religious doctrine, and that any serious raising of religious doctrine in a secular academic environment is as practically forbidden there as its denial would be formally forbidden in a religious academic institution.

Similar challenges are being seen in more socially liberal Canada against Trinity Western University, as discussed by IRD earlier this year. That school and other Christian institutions in Canada have been under pressure in recent years from educational and professional associations and from the general public, because of their orthodox Christian faith commitments (held to violate “academic freedom”) and social conservatism (held to violate “gay rights”). These Canadian schools have, however, so far prevailed with the authorities ruling on questions at issue to the degree that they are able to function as schools. But as Canadian society has continued to move to the left on social issues, their position is growing more tenuous. As is commonly and most effectively done in these situations, opponents of religious freedom make the claim that the doctrine and practices of conservative institutions are too severe, even “unchristian,” although they are well supported by the Bible and two thousand years of Christian practice. The presenting issue at the moment is accreditation of Trinity Western University’s proposed new law school in light of its opposition to homosexuality in doctrine and practice (people participating at the university sign an agreement to adhere to the prohibitions of Christian morality, including its prohibition against homosexuality). Canadian law societies therefore maintain they will not receive Trinity Western’s graduates. The school has maintained that it should not be penalized for its views, and does not violate current standards in Canada. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation also briefly reviewed Trinity Western’s case.

Christian institutions should not continue to function if they are required to compromise in doctrine, or more likely, in practice, on Christian faith or morality. It may be that distinctively Christian educational or social service institutions will not be legally possible in the future. Committed Christians will then have to live out their lives without them, but that is the only faithful alternative, not continuing to function, either individually or corporately, in a compromised way. But even in that situation, we should continue to argue for our duty to God in serving Him according to His own standards and our right of conscience to once again have the free exercise of religion in educational and social services.

Rick Plasterer is a staff writer for IRD concerned particularly with domestic religious liberty. He attended Eastern Mennonite College (now University) receiving a B.A. degree in history and sociology, and an M.S. in library science from Drexel University.

Unbiblical Presumption in College of Bishops’ Sexuality Statement

By Julian Mann
http://cranmercurate.blogspot.co.uk/

The Church of England’s media statement following the College of Bishops’ ‘shared conversations’ on sexuality this week is biblically unfaithful because, whilst the New Testament teaches assurance, it does not teach presumption. Indeed, the Apostle John’s First Epistle clearly teaches that true assurance depends on professing Christians’ abiding in the truth of the apostolic message:

That which we (the eye-witness Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ) have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1v3 – RSV).

The meeting included diocesan and suffragan bishops and the eight senior women clergy elected last year. Emitting a toxic fume of spiritual and moral relativism, the statement declares:

As part of the conversations the college shared the different responses being expressed in the life of the church and the deeply held convictions and experiences that inform them. In this the college reflected the diversity of experience and view held by the country as a whole. The college also acknowledged that at this stage it was not seeking to achieve consensus nor to make any decisions but rather the purpose was being open to see Jesus Christ in those who took an opposing view to their own position.

For all the Bishops’ attempts to reassure orthodox Anglicans that the introduction of authorised services of same-sex blessing is not a foregone conclusion, this statement is highly proscriptive and indeed dogmatic in its view of revisionist church leaders. It strongly implies that it would be sinful to treat a convinced revisionist as an opponent because he or she must be a real Christian on the basis of their self-perception.

But this approach flagrantly disregards the biblical fact that departing from the New Testament’s teaching that sex is exclusively for heterosexual marriage involves the presuppositional rejection of apostolic authority.

According to 1 John, that is how false teachers are identifiable – by their rejection of God-revealed apostolic truth. Such men and women are not in fellowship with Christ’s authorized witnesses and are therefore not in fellowship with the Father and Son. Such teachers need to be opposed not affirmed. It is unbiblical presumption to think that we can have the Lord Jesus in our lives if our minds and hearts are divorced from the authentic apostolic message.

John’s teaching is harmony with the Apostle Paul’s:

And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he (the Lord Jesus Christ) has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister (Colossians 1v21-23).

END

Church of England may axe 400-year-old sacred law

Vicars set to reveal secrets of confession: Church of England may axe 400-year-old sacred law to let clergy report sex attackers

By Jonathan Petre for The Mail on Sunday

The former Bishop of Chelmsford John Gladwin is pressing for rules to be relaxed so that clergy can report serious crimes such as child abuse

The former Bishop of Chelmsford John Gladwin is pressing for rules to be relaxed so that clergy can report serious crimes such as child abuse

For centuries the secrecy of the confessional has been sacrosanct, but the Church of England may relax the rules to allow clergy to reveal serious crimes such as child abuse.

Former Bishop of Chelmsford John Gladwin – who last year led an inquiry into clerical sex abuse in the Church of England – is pressing for the changes, along with members of the Church’s ‘parliament’, the General Synod.

But any change will be fiercely resisted by traditionalists who think clergy should retain the trust of worshippers. It will also cause tensions with Roman Catholics, who believe the seal of the confessional should remain inviolable.

Bishop Gladwin’s moves follow a decision by the Anglican Church of Australia to allow its priests to report crimes they hear during confession to the police.

The sacrament of penance, in which a believer privately confesses their sins to a priest, is usually associated with the Catholic Church.

However about a quarter of the Church of England’s clergy hear confessions – usually face to face in a private room rather than in a booth in a church. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby last year urged more Anglicans to adopt the practice, saying the experience could be ‘enormously powerful’.

However Bishop Gladwin, whose report for Archbishop Welby led to an apology by the Church to victims, said: ‘It is very important that anything criminal that involves the abuse of people should not be protected. Action has to happen.’

He said the Church of England had to ensure any reforms were workable, but the Australian Church had provided ‘a very good model’.

For more than 400 years clergy have been banned under Church law from disclosing ‘secret and hidden sins’ revealed by penitents, including criminal offences.

But in July the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia voted to allow clergy to go to the police if the person who confessed refused to do so, saying the safety of victims must be paramount.

These crimes include child abuse, child pornography or other offences that would lead to a jail term of five years or more. Dioceses in Australia are expected to introduce the changes by the end of the year.

And the Rev Simon Cawdell, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod, has tabled a motion calling for Church law to be amended so priests are no longer compelled to keep confessions of abuse confidential.

The issue could be raised at the next General Synod meeting in November, as bishops brace themselves for tough questioning from a Government inquiry into abuse in institutions including the Church.

A Church of England spokesman said: ‘The guidelines for clergy are being considered for debate in November at General Synod. The Australian model is one of a number of options which will be considered as part of the ongoing discussions.’

However one senior Synod member said: ‘If we go down the Australian route we have destroyed the priesthood. You should be able to go to a priest and tell them everything. This is the Roman Catholic tradition and we have always followed it. If we did something different now it would upset everybody.’

And the Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton Kieran Conry said a Church of England rule change could put pressure on the Catholic Church to do the same, but added: ‘We will never relax the absolute requirement of confidentiality.’

Archbishop of Canterbury adviser warns College of Bishops ‘decisions have to be made’ on same-sex weddings

Canon David Porter has warned that decisions need to be made

By Nick Duffy
PINK News
http://www.pinknews.co.uk
Sept. 2014

An adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned Bishops that “decisions will have to be made” on the Church’s approach to same-sex marriage.

The College of Bishops is meeting this week to have “shared conversations” about the Church’s approach to sexuality and same-sex couples.

The long-awaited Pilling Report recommended last year that the church adopt a more conciliatory approach to same-sex couples, but the House of Bishops refused to back formal blessings for marriages, and forbade gay clergy from marrying.

Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation, today warned Bishops ahead of this week’s meeting that a final decision cannot be stalled forever.

He said: “For me the ideal outcome will be that people will be able to articulate with a measure of empathy the views of others that they don’t agree with.

“When we get to the process beyond the shared conversations, decisions will have to be made, because we can’t leave it in this space forever.

“The way we approach the making of those decisions is done in a way that honours the fact that we are brothers and sisters of Christ.

“Even though we disagree, we are going to do that in a way that reflects that reality as much as the reality of our convictions on these issues.”

Reverend Michael Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs, added: “There’s a lot of anxiety around about what may lie behind these conversations about hidden agendas.

“I hope that we’ve unpacked that sufficiently in the light of Pilling indeed to show that that isn’t the case. There’s a lot of reassurance that says this is what it says on the tin and it’s not something hidden.”

END

Are Pro-Gay Evangelicals out to destroy Christianity?

Are Pro-Gay Evangelicals out to destroy Christianity?

NEWS ANALYSIS

By David W. Virtue DD
www.virtueonline.org
Sept. 2014

It is no surprise that the all-pervasive secular culture — fed in large part by Hollywood — is working against the Christian faith. Day in and day out mass media is working to destroy Christian moral values while exalting fornication, adultery and homosexuality, and painting those who should come down with a nasty death-affirming disease as victims of homophobia.

The inroads into the churches has been nothing short of a blitzkrieg and catastrophic working to bring about compromise watering down the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.” While the pressure on the church to capitulate is what one might expect, Jesus and the apostles warned this might happen. There are some 44 verses about compromise in Scripture. Jesus in Matthew 6:24 says “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (or anything else including sex).

What is more surprising is when Christians, particularly evangelicals who should know better, capitulate in the face of contemporary cultural changes. One can only stand in shock at the reckless abandonment of truth especially in the explosive area of human sexuality. Satan is having a field day with Christians. It is hard to watch as liberal Protestant denominations slowly collapse in the face of a virulent homo fascism. Now a growing number of evangelical churches and their leaders are doing so as well.

Many times this comes from evangelical pop stars, the most recent being when Christian singer Vicky Beeching who disclosed a self-affirmed identity as a lesbian in an extensive interview with the British newspaper “The Independent” (“Vicky Beeching, Christian rock star ‘I’m gay. God loves me just the way I am”). She happily used the media to the fullest to attack the historic Christian stance on a male-female foundation for marriage. On her webpage she now has a whole section devoted to her “Coming Out” which provides over seventy links to media “covering Vicky’s coming out story” for the dates Aug. 14 -21.

Satan and his minions must have openly rejoiced at her “outing” as she sought to destroy the church from within along with its core teachings on male/female sexuality.

Now a group calling itself Evangelicals for Marriage Equality made a public pronouncement for an initiative for Evangelicals to support civil marriage equality in TIME magazine via an article written by someone calling himself Brandan Robertson.

Robertson, calling himself an evangelical Christian and affirming his belief that the Bible is God’s word, said he also believed that LGBT men and women should enjoy the same right to civil marriage as any other couple. “For many evangelicals, these statements are mutually exclusive. But they don’t have to be,” he said. Really.

“That is why I am joining forces with Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, a new initiative launching Tuesday that seeks to change the hearts and minds of evangelicals about civil marriage equality,” writes Robertson.

EME is the first organization of its kind that is specifically focused on creating conversations within evangelical churches, colleges, and institutions to help dispel myths about marriage equality and stake out a middle ground for young evangelicals in this contentious debate. It was founded by two young, straight evangelicals –Josh Dickson and Michael Saltsman–who grew up in the church and have an appreciation for both its strengths and its weaknesses.

“As spokesperson for the organization, I represent a growing number of millennial evangelicals that believes it’s possible to be a faithful Christian with a high regard for the authority of the Bible and a faithful supporter of civil marriage equality.”

According to data from the Public Religion Research Institute, evangelicals register the lowest level of support for same-sex marriage of any religious denomination. As of 2013, just 27 percent of his fellow churchgoers were proponents of marriage equality.

Within this topline statistic, there’s considerable generational diversity. For instance, 43 percent of evangelicals in the 18-to 33-year-old demographic support marriage equality. Even among Generation X adults aged 34 to 48, marriage equality support stands at 33 percent.

“Since I began my journey of faith as an evangelical Christian at the age of twelve, I have seen the many sides of this thorny topic. I once was strongly opposed to marriage equality, even to the point of preaching in the streets of Baltimore with my church youth group about the dangers of legalizing same-sex marriage.

“But as I dug deeper into studying the Bible and became friends with many of my LGBT peers, I began to struggle with the clear call of Jesus to love my neighbor and my evangelical community’s insistence that I oppose marriage equality for my gay and lesbian friends.”

Robertson rolls out the old saw that he now understands that Jesus taught that the way we are to change the world is through love, justice, and the proclamation of the Gospel. “But the Church seemed to believe that, on this issue, the faithful pattern was to stand against gay and lesbians rights to be civilly married under the law.”

This is the thin end of the wedge.

Are evangelicals who support civil marriage for same-sex couples watering down their faith to adapt to secular society? Not at all. Instead, we’re making a distinction between theology and politics, says Robertson.

Not true. First of all, sex is not a right, gay or straight. Sex is a gift, given to some, withheld from others. Nowhere in Scripture is it suggested that there is an alternative to sex in marriage between a man and a woman. As C.S. Lewis wrote in his book on Christian Behavior, “Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.” Robertson, therefore, is dead wrong.

“Many evangelicals believe the Bible describes same-sex relationships as sinful; others disagree. Regardless of whether we believe that God views these relationship or sinful or not, our particular Christian definition of marriage shouldn’t dictate the definition of marriage in a pluralistic and religiously diverse society such as ours,” writes Robertson.

But the mere acceptance of same-sex sex, because we live in a pluralistic and religiously diverse society such as ours, is not remotely a reason to change the definition of marriage. This is the triumph of culture over Scripture. Robertson has tumbled over the abyss.

Robertson goes on to say that “people of Good News” (which is what “evangelical” means) have become bearers of harsh proclamations and black-and-white judgments, more in love with politics than with people.

Wrong again. Evangelicals have not politicized this issue; religious and secular pansexualists have done so by persuading a US president along with a majority of secular institutions and corporations of the rightness of same sex civil unions. Revisionist and liberal “Christians” like Episcopal layman Dr. Louie Crew and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson have brokered sodomy into the Episcopal Church. Evangelicals (except for Westboro Baptist Church of “God hates fags” fame) have consistently said the behavior is wrong…love the sinner, hate the sin.

True Evangelicals, a number of whom are ex-gays who have suffered from same-sex attractions have changed, gone straight, married and had children, are regularly vilified by the gay community for promoting the notion change is possible, something Robertson does not address in his riff on why evangelicals should accept civil unions.

The “judgments” have come from the other side, not ours. Most evangelicals feel beaten down about the issue. Some people like the wife of evangelist Dr. Tony Campolo openly embrace gaydom.

Robertson says this, “Proponents of marriage equality aren’t blameless, either. One reason it’s so difficult for evangelicals to have honest conversations about this issue is that they’ve risked the “bigot” label if they express their struggles and doubts. Evangelicals and their critics alike should agree that name-calling and a hostile posture aren’t conducive to respectful and productive dialogue.”

“Bigot” doesn’t touch what true evangelicals experience on a daily basis. This reporter has been called everything in the book from homophobe, uninclusive, lacking diversity, bigot, hate-monger, and much more.

Religious freedom in America now means that evangelicals can have their businesses ripped from them if they don’t bake cakes for gay marriages, or provide abortifacents for employees, and called all manner of names for daring to say, however graciously, that sodomy is wrong. That is now forbidden as hate speech.

If Robertson thinks that evangelicals must now roll over and accept civil marriage equality as an overflow of our love for our lesbian and gay neighbors, he is promoting a misplaced compassion and a false understanding of human sexuality.

There are good reasons why the seven Scriptures condemning sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman are there for our edification and learning. They are there to protect marriage and the very fabric of what we call Western Civilization.

When we destroy that, we will destroy ourselves. As C.S. Lewis rightly noted, “Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices.”

As one commentator put it, “The Word of God must always trump trendy lefty social issues and anti-biblical agendas.”

We, who are Evangelicals, must remain faithful to our beliefs or suffer the consequences personally, societally, generationally and ultimately face the judgment of God.

END

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