Thursday, September 12, 2013

All Around the Web - September 12, 2013

ABC News - Churches Changing Bylaws After Gay Marriage Ruling | We have done this at our church.

Worried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman.

Although there have been lawsuits against wedding industry businesses that refuse to serve gay couples, attorneys promoting the bylaw changes say they don't know of any lawsuits against churches.

Critics say the changes are unnecessary, but some churches fear that it's only a matter of time before one of them is sued.

"I thought marriage was always between one man and one woman, but the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said no," said Gregory S. Erwin, an attorney for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, an association of Southern Baptist churches and one several groups advising churches to change their bylaws. "I think it's better to be prepared because the law is changing. America is changing."

Real Clear Politics - FOX News: Timeline Of Obama Administration's Policy On Syria

TIME Magazine - School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys

As school begins in the coming weeks, parents of boys should ask themselves a question: Is my son really welcome? A flurry of incidents last spring suggests that the answer is no. In May, Christopher Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to “shoot” a “bad guy” — his friend, who was also suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado’s Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at “bad guys” in order to “save the world.”

In all these cases, school officials found the children to be in violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policies for firearms, which is clearly a ludicrous application of the rule. But common sense isn’t the only thing at stake here. In the name of zero tolerance, our schools are becoming hostile environments for young boys.

Girls occasionally run afoul of these draconian policies; but it is mostly boys who are ensnared. Boys are nearly five times more likely to be expelled from preschool than girls. In grades K-12, boys account for nearly 70% of suspensions, often for minor acts of insubordination and defiance. In the cases of Christopher, Josh and Alex, there was no insubordination or defiance whatsoever. They were guilty of nothing more than being typical 7-year-old boys. But in today’s school environment, that can be a punishable offense.

Zero tolerance was originally conceived as a way of ridding schools of violent predators, especially in the wake of horrific shootings in places like Littleton, Colo. But juvenile violence, including violence at schools, is at a historic low. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 2011, approximately 1% of students ages 12 to 18 reported a violent victimization at school. For serious violence, the figure is one-tenth of 1%. It does no disrespect to the victims of Columbine or Sandy Hook to note that while violence may be built into the core of a small coterie of sociopathic boys, most boys are not sociopathic.

Ligonier - 10 Distinguishing Marks of John Calvin’s Preaching

1. John Calvin’s preaching was biblical in its substance.
2. John Calvin’s preaching was sequential in its pattern.
3. John Calvin’s preaching was direct in its message.
4. John Calvin’s preaching was extemporaneous in its delivery.
5. John Calvin’s preaching was exegetical in its approach.
6. John Calvin’s preaching was accessible in its simplicity.
7. John Calvin’s preaching was pastoral in its tone.
8. John Calvin’s preaching was polemic in its defense of the truth.
9. John Calvin’s preaching was passionate in its outreach.
10. John Calvin’s preaching was doxological in its conclusion

Mars Hill - How to get over the fear of inviting people to church

1. Pray you'd have God's heart for the lost.
2. Pray for courage.
3. Pray for specific people.
4. Remember your own calling.
5. Remember the gospel.
6. Trust in the power of the gospel to save.
7. Know that sharing the hope of eternity is loving.
8. Know that it's not about you.

Desiring God - Porn, Pride, and Praise: An Interview with Heath Lambert | Click the link for the audio.

According to a study by Covenant Eyes, roughly half of all professing Christian men and one-fifth of all professing Christian women admit to being porn addicts. Other reports indicate the problem could be even more extensive. Whatever the exact numbers, porn is a major problem, and that’s connected to its accessibility. 

“The Internet is the crack cocaine of pornography,” says Heath Lambert, author of the forthcoming book, Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace. Lambert is assistant professor of biblical counseling at Boyce College and teaches at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. We asked him about the growing epidemic of pornography in the lives of Christians, and about the roots behind the sin.

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