Wednesday, May 7, 2014

All Around the Web - May 7, 2014

John MacArthur - Strange Fire: A Video Interview with John MacArthur

Canon and Culture - Does Free Exercise Require Marriage Re-Definiton? No.
A new twist in the battle by same-sex marriage advocates occurred in North Carolina this week. The United Church of Christ, three ministers in the United Church of Christ, a Lutheran pastor, two Universalist Unitarian ministers, and the openly lesbian pastor of a Baptist church filed suit in federal court to overturn North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment on the basis that it violates the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment. Because same-sex couples are not allowed to marry under North Carolina law, they claim their free exercise of religion is violated. “If a minister conducts any marriage ceremony between same-sex couples, he or she is guilty of a crime,” their complaint alleges.

The truth is that the United Church of Christ and these ministers are seeking to impose marriage re-definition on the State of North Carolina, contrary to the will of the voters who approved a Marriage Amendment just two years ago by a margin of 61% to 39%. While clever, the claim that marriage between one man and one woman violates free exercise of religion is absurd. This is yet another creative, yet predictable tactic in the carefully planned campaign to force same-sex marriage on the country.

There appears to be a carefully orchestrated effort between the press and same-sex marriage activists to deceive the public about what’s at stake here—religious freedom or marriage re-definition.

Trevin Wax - 3 Wrong Assumptions Church Leaders Make 
1. Your church wants to grow by reaching the lost.
2. Your church believes the Bible should be the ultimate authority for life.
3. Your church understands salvation by grace alone.

Eric MetaxasThe Irreplaceable Family

Thom Rainer - Sex, Millennials, and the Church: Five Implications
  1. Most Millennials, including Christian Millennials, see nothing wrong with unmarried persons living together. Many of them will come to our churches and be surprised to hear their behavior is sinful. How churches handle this reality will determine the success of efforts to reach the generation.
  2. While the trend toward approval of homosexual marriage is growing in society at large, the positive view is pervasive among Millennials. Churches that choose to ignore this issue have little hope of impacting culture positively.
  3. Millennials will exit quickly from churches whose members are shrill and unloving toward those with non-biblical views on sexuality. Unfortunately, many Millennials stereotype all Bible-believing churches as filled with members who carry Westboro-like placards that scream “God hates fags.” While this is not the case in most churches, there are still some Christians who do a good job of reinforcing that stereotype.
  4. Ironically, Millennials will not stick with churches that have no convictions.  Liberal churches with compromising views on biblical sexuality will not attract and retain Millennials. Though Millennials are indeed increasingly liberal in their views and actions on sexuality, they view churches as places that should be convictional and even counter-cultural.
  5. The greater opportunity lies with those churches that are able to speak truth in love, and to demonstrate that love. The preceding sentence sounds a bit cliché, but it is increasingly a reality. Many of our church members are very uncomfortable engaging, for example, a homosexual in a way that demonstrates the love of Christ. But that is the world and the culture where our churches and Christians reside. We can choose to either engage or withdraw.

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