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nChrist
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« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2011, 10:09:01 AM »

Quote from: HisDaughter
Church Touts Homosexuality as a Gift, Not a Sin
christianpost.com

Being gay is a gift from God, asserts one church in Ohio.

Very sad - a church promoting an abomination in the eyes of God. The Old Testament and the New Testament answer this question boldly and bluntly.

====================

Genesis 18:19-23 KJV  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  20  And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21  I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.  22  And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.  23  And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Genesis 18:19-23 AMP  For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him.  20  And the Lord said, Because the shriek [of the sins] of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is exceedingly grievous,  21  I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether [as vilely and wickedly] as is the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.  22  Now the [two] men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.  23  And Abraham came close and said, Will You destroy the righteous (those upright and in right standing with God) together with the wicked?

====================

Genesis 19:4-7 KJV  But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:  5  And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.  6  And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,  7  And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

Genesis 19:4-7 AMP  But before they lay down, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, all the men from every quarter, surrounded the house.  5  And they called to Lot and said, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know (be intimate with) them.  6  And Lot went out of the door to the men and shut the door after him  7  And said, I beg of you, my brothers, do not behave so wickedly.

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Leviticus 18:22-25 KJV  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.  23  Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.  24  Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:  25  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

Leviticus 18:22-25 AMP  You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination. [I Cor. 6:9, 10.]  23  Neither shall you lie with any beast and defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman yield herself to a beast to lie with it; it is confusion, perversion, and degradedly carnal.  24  Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for in all these things the nations are defiled which I am casting out before you.  25  And the land is defiled; therefore I visit the iniquity of it upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants.

====================

Leviticus 20:13 KJV  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:13 AMP  If a man lies with a male as if he were a woman, both men have committed an offense (something perverse, unnatural, abhorrent, and detestable); they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

====================

Romans 1:22-28 KJV  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Romans 1:22-28 AMP  Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].  23  And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.  24  Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin],  25  Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it). [Jer. 2:11.]  26  For this reason God gave them over and abandoned them to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural and abnormal one,  27  And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another--men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.  28  And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome,
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« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2011, 10:09:30 AM »

===================

1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:9 AMP  Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

====================

Ephesians 4:18-19 KJV  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Ephesians 4:18-19 AMP  Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].  19  In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].

====================

Ephesians 5:11-12 KJV  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Ephesians 5:11-12 AMP  Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them.  12  For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret.

====================

1 Timothy 1:9-10 KJV  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

1 Timothy 1:9-10 AMP  Knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers,  10  [For] impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men, kidnapers, liars, perjurers--and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching and sound doctrine

====================

Jude 1:6-10 KJV  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.  7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.  8  Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.  9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.  10  But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

Jude 1:6-10 AMP  And angels who did not keep (care for, guard, and hold to) their own first place of power but abandoned their proper dwelling place--these He has reserved in custody in eternal chains (bonds) under the thick gloom of utter darkness until the judgment and doom of the great day.  7  [The wicked are sentenced to suffer] just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the adjacent towns--which likewise gave themselves over to impurity and indulged in unnatural vice and sensual perversity--are laid out [in plain sight] as an exhibit of perpetual punishment [to warn] of everlasting fire. [ Gen. 19.]  8  Nevertheless in like manner, these dreamers also corrupt the body, scorn and reject authority and government, and revile and libel and scoff at [heavenly] glories (the glorious ones).  9  But when [even] the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, judicially argued (disputed) about the body of Moses, he dared not [presume to] bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you! [Zechariah 3:2.]  10  But these men revile (scoff and sneer at) anything they do not happen to be acquainted with and do not understand; and whatever they do understand physically [that which they know by mere instinct], like irrational beasts--by these they corrupt themselves and are destroyed (perish).

====================
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« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2011, 09:37:27 AM »

Presbyterians clear way for gay clergy
AP

NEW YORK –  After decades of debate, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Tuesday struck down a barrier to ordaining gays, ratifying a proposal that removes the celibacy requirement for unmarried clergy, in the latest mainline Protestant move toward accepting gay relationships.

The change was endorsed last year by the Presbyterian national assembly, but required approval by a majority of the denomination's 173 presbyteries, or regional church bodies.

The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, based in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., cast the deciding 87th vote Tuesday night. Sixty-two presbyteries have voted against the measure and balloting will continue, but the majority needed for ratification was secured in Minnesota.

"It's a thrilling day," said Sylvia Thorson-Smith, an elder at St. Mark's Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Ariz., whose family advocates for gays and lesbians in the church. She invited 40 people to her house for a party after the vote was announced. "I can't help but think of those who have worked and suffered and endured and hoped for this. Some have not lived to see it."

Differences over the Bible and homosexuality have split Protestant groups nationally and worldwide for years. Within the Presbyterian Church, about 100 of the 11,000 congregations had already broken away ahead of the vote, but a group of large theologically conservative congregations, which calls itself Fellowship, has decided to remain in the denomination for now.

Top Presbyterian executives issued a statement to the church acknowledging that "some will rejoice while others will weep," at the decision.

"However, as Presbyterians, we believe that the only way we will find God's will for the church is by seeking it together — worshipping, praying, thinking and serving alongside one another," the executives wrote.

The measure approved Tuesday eliminates language in the church constitution requiring that clergy live "in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness." The new provision instead requires ministers to "submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life."

Each regional body will decide who it should ordain, and some districts are expected to continue to reject gay and lesbian candidates.

Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas will send a letter to its nearly 5,000 members reaffirming the congregation's commitment to traditional marriage and celibacy for unmarried clergy. The church has formed a task force to study the impact of the new policy.

"While this change is deeply troubling, it does not change (Highland Park church)," the Highland Park senior pastor and elders wrote in the letter. "We have the freedom and the responsibility to continue upholding biblical standards for church officers."

The 2.1 million-member denomination, based in Louisville, Ky., is the latest mainline Protestant group to move toward accepting same-gender relationships.

In 2003, The Episcopal Church caused an uproar in the global Anglican fellowship by consecrating the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran group in the country, liberalized its policy toward gay clergy two years ago. The United Church of Christ started ordaining openly gay clergy in 1972, and more recently endorsed same-sex marriage.

The nation's largest mainline group, the United Methodist Church, which has just under 8 million U.S. members, retains its celibacy mandate for unmarried clergy.

In the Presbyterian Church, regional bodies had rejected similar amendments in three previous votes on ordaining gays since 1998. In this latest round of balloting, 19 presbyteries switched their vote in favor of ordaining openly gay and lesbian candidates for ministry.

Among the reasons cited by activists on all sides of the issue: the change in broader American society toward accepting same-sex relationships, weariness of the debate, and the departure of some conservative churches from presbyteries, which changed the balance of votes in some regions.

The new policy will take effect on July 10, after all presbyteries complete their voting.

The much smaller Presbyterian Church in America, a separate denomination, bars ordination for women and openly gay clergy candidates.

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« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2011, 09:39:45 AM »

This getting to be so common place these days, but it still surprises me every time I read about it!  It is appalling!
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« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2011, 04:13:13 PM »

This getting to be so common place these days, but it still surprises me every time I read about it!  It is appalling!

Yes, it is, but I would add disgusting. They are turning themselves into houses of abomination and fornication. God's Word tells us that things like this will happen, and we should know that things are going to get worse.
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« Reply #50 on: May 14, 2011, 02:12:44 PM »

Following Jesus While Rejecting the Bible? Yet Another Tragedy in Mainline Protestantism
albertmohler.com

Yet another denomination has voted to ordain openly homosexual candidates to its ministry. Yesterday, the Presbyterian Church (USA) presbytery of the Twin Cities in Minnesota voted to approve a change to the church’s constitution that will allow the denomination’s 173 presbyteries to ordain persons without regard to sexual orientation.

The Twin Cities presbytery cast the deciding vote in what is now a 33-year effort to remove all restrictions on homosexuals serving in the church’s ordained ministry. It became the 87th presbytery to affirm the action of the church’s 219th assembly last summer authorizing the constitutional change. The action not only concludes over three decades of controversy over the ordination standards; it also reverses actions taken in 1997, 2001, and 2008, when similar efforts failed.

In 1996, the denomination restated its ordination requirements to include “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.” That policy had also required that candidates “refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.”

The new constitutional section will read:

“Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation. Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.”

All references to marriage and chastity are gone, along with the language about refusal to repent of sin. The new language speaks instead of submission to the Lordship of Christ and being guided by Scripture and confessions. In any other context, that language might not seem revolutionary, but in this case, it means the denomination’s surrender to those pushing for the normalization of homosexuality.

Put another way, this church has now decided that “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” is just too restrictive.

Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) General Assembly, explained the meaning of the change: “Clearly what has changed is that persons in a same-gender relationship can be considered for ordination . . . . The gist of our ordination standards is that officers submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and ordaining bodies (presbyteries for ministers and sessions for elders and deacons) have the responsibility to examine each candidate individually to ensure that all candidates do so with no blanket judgments.”

Why now? Parsons suggested that the victory by proponents of the ordination of homosexuals has come because of the exodus of larger conservative congregations from the denomination (approximately 100 over the last five years), the fact that many Presbyterians seemed “ready to get past this argument,” the growing acceptance of homosexuality in the larger culture, and the less controversial wording of this revision. He, along with others, expressed some measure of surprise and relief that the decision was made.

He told The New York Times, “We’ve been having this conversation for 33 years, and some people are ready to get to the other side of this decision. . . . Some people are going to celebrate this day because they’ve worked for it for a long time, and some people will mourn this day because they think it’s a totally different understanding of Scripture than they have.”

The Presbyterian Church (USA) now joins the Episcopal Church (US), the United Church of Christ, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in ordaining openly homosexual candidates to the ministry.

Both sides in this controversy understand the meaning of the decision. While this action deals specifically with ordination standards, it is really about the larger issue of homosexuality. Most observers expect that the decision to allow same-sex marriages will follow closely.

But even beyond the specific issue of homosexuality, the church faced two of the most fundamental questions of Christian theology — the authority of the Bible and the Lordship of Christ. In making this change, the church clearly affirms that one may submit to the Lordship of Christ without submitting to the clear teachings of Scripture.

That is a fundamental error that leaves this denomination now in the implausible position of claiming to affirm the Lordship of Christ while subverting the authority of Scripture. The removal of the constitutional language about marriage and chastity, coupled with the removal of the language about repentance from what Scripture identifies as sin, effectively means that candidates and presbyteries may defy Scripture while claiming to follow Christ.

Clearly, this action could not have happened without this denomination having abandoned any required belief in the full authority, inspiration, and truthfulness of the Bible long ago. This most recent decision sets the stage for the total capitulation of this church to the normalization of homosexuality — an act of open defiance against the Scriptures.

In a “churchwide letter” to the denomination, PC(USA) leaders stated:

Reactions to this change will span a wide spectrum. Some will rejoice, while others will weep. Those who rejoice will see the change as an action, long in coming, that makes the PCUSA an inclusive church that recognizes and receives the gifts for ministry of all those who feel called to ordained office. Those who weep will consider this change one that compromises biblical authority and acquiesces to present culture. The feelings on both sides run deep.

Well, the feelings no doubt run deep, but the injury to this church runs far deeper than feelings. This is yet another tragedy in the sad history of mainline Protestantism’s race toward total theological disaster.
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« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2011, 02:13:55 PM »

When the Lights Go Out: The Death of a Denomination
albertmohler.com

Adrian Hamilton is concerned that the Church of England “will not survive my children’s lifetime and quite possibly not even my own.” Writing in The Independent [London], Hamilton writes of a Church of England that remains established as the national church, but is no longer established in the hearts of the nation.

Interestingly, Hamilton argues that the very fact that the Church of England is an established state church is among the chief causes of its predicament. For most Britons, he argues, the role of the nation’s state church means very little — “some exotic clothes and ritual prayers on state occasions.”

And yet, what Hamilton notes most of all is this: “What is really worrying for the future of the Church, however, is that its leaders themselves seem to have ceased to believe in it.”

Hamilton is not a conservative. He rather smugly dismisses controversies over sexuality and gender. Those debates are not killing the church, he argues. Instead, it is the unspeakable apathy that marks the British people with regard to their state church. “The majority of people are quite happy to profess themselves Christian and Anglican,” he says. “It’s easier to accept than asserting a different faith. But they are not so happy to go to church services or take an active part in its activities.”

Consider this assessment:

The figures are truly dire. While non-Christian faiths have grown stronger and the evangelical Christian churches flourish, the story in the Church of England has been one of almost continuous decline since the war.

Despite a series of initiatives such as Back to Church Sunday and some improvement in the numbers of young people participating in church activities, attendance figures amongst Anglicans have dropped by some 10 per cent over the last decade. Only 1.1m people, some 2 per cent of the population, attend church on a weekly basis, and only 1.7m, or 3 per cent, once a month. This in spite of the fact that around half the population still profess themselves Anglicans.

The decline in paid clergy has been even more rapid. On the Church’s own statistics, the beginning of the new millennium has already seen a fall in over 20 per cent to barely 8,000. On present trends clergy would disappear altogether within half a century.

This is a stark portrait of a church in deep trouble. The status of the Church of England as the established national church has granted its leaders a false sense of security and importance. There are more principled reasons to oppose the very idea of an established church, but this practical effect is no small matter.

The formality of state occasions may provide drama and a sense of vitality, but these are masks. How many in the congregation gathered for last week’s royal wedding knew any of the words to the great hymns that were sung? Only three percent of the nation’s population attends Church of England services even once a month. Given current trends, few Anglican parishes will have ministers in just a few decades. Like many other historic churches and denominations, the Church of England is passing through decline, and it faces nothing short of demise unless these trends are somehow reversed.

As valid as the institutional question of establishment may be, the more important factor in this pattern of decline is theological. Churches and denominations decline when they lose or forfeit their passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the Bible as the enduring, authoritative, and totally truthful Word of God. If life and death are no longer understood to hang in the balance, there is little reason for the British people to worry about anything related to Christianity. If a church is not passionate about seeing sinners come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, if there is no powerful biblical message from its pulpits, then it is destined for decline and eventual disappearance.

When a church forfeits its doctrinal convictions and then embraces ambiguity and tolerates heresy, it undermines its own credibility and embraces its own destruction.

Hamilton is surely right about one thing. It is true that the Church of England’s disastrous controversies over gender and sexuality are not the causes of the church’s decline. They are instead symptoms of a far deeper theological disease.

Hamilton’s closing words bear close scrutiny: “The Church of England was founded as a political act against the wishes of much of the population and is now dying out of political irrelevance and popular unconcern. History, as we know, moves on, taking no prisoners.”
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« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2011, 02:15:36 PM »

Pastor Uses Parable of the Sower to Encourage Abortion

After I finished reading Rev. Matthew Westfox's article entitled, "Resurrecting Pro-Life", I couldn't shake an image in my head of the father of lies smugly patting himself on the back for this one. A very delicious deception, indeed.

Rev. Westfox begins, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" reminds me that Easter is a celebration of life itself and what Christians honor and revere about life. Easter reminds me of the respect and reverence for life that is at the core of my theology, that I am in my heart a deeply "pro-life" person."

That first paragraph left me with a vague uneasiness in my stomach, and the next paragraph got worse. A lot worse.

"Today most of us won't use that term because it has been co-opted by those who oppose reproductive choice and abortion access. In the spirit of Easter, I want us to resurrect that term, to re-claim a pro-life theology that is deeply supportive of reproductive justice."

Westfox, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, serves the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice as their Field Services National Coordinator. A perusal of RCRC's website reveals it to be little more than a pro-abortion platform, complete with all the usual euphemisms and standard pro-abortion arguments about women's health, safety, and right to "privacy" and "control." The site condemns laws that attempt to restrict abortion, require parental notification, and the current wave of state efforts to pass Personhood laws. There's no denying their loyalty to abortion.

Continuing on with Westfox's article: "To be pro-life, after all, means to honor life and to cherish it. But do we honor life, or do we honor a heartbeat?" And with that, Westfox howls through the last shred of pretense and bares the wolf fangs behind his fluffy wool.

"Life, after all, is the ability to LIVE, to connect with other human beings, and for Christians, life is among other things the ability to experience the presence of Christ through those connections. To live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision-making. It is to act as a truly free person with control over one's own body, sexuality, and reproduction."

Westfox denies any inherent value of human life, instead parroting the abortion rationale that a human being only becomes a person of value after the select criteria of independence has been achieved. He wraps it in Christian-speak to make it sound noble and himself credible, but it's the same regurgitated bile so typical of the culture of death.

He insists that God gives the conscience but not the heartbeat. Whatever god Westfox preaches, it is not the Living God; not the Incarnate God who took on human flesh. Was Christ not quite human, not really alive in Mary's womb?

He goes on to twist Jesus' teaching in the parable of the sower to fit the pro-abortion theology of "choice." He says, "In the parable of the sower, Jesus reminds us that seed alone does not bring about new life - that all aspects of the conditions into which the seed are cast must be suitable to sustain life.the story reminds us that respecting and honoring life means doing all we can to create the conditions that will allow life to flourish - while at the same time respecting and accepting that some conditions are not suitable to sustaining life. We do no service by trying to force life into places where the ground is not right."

Westfox is actually saying we have a duty - based on Jesus' teaching about seed falling on good ground - to abort all babies who may be born to mothers who are unfit ground or whose present circumstances are not suitable. To not kill those babies would be to ignore the lesson Jesus was teaching, and therefore, to not follow Christ.

He borrows another common pro-abortion tactic (in which pro-lifers are mocked for supposedly considering an individual sperm or egg to be a living human being, minus conception) by equating a new human soul with a seed. He again denies that God is the Creator and Giver of life by implying that life depends on the soil and the conditions, rather than having inherent, God-given value by virtue of being His creation.

He continues, "Similarly, living out a pro-life theology means ensuring that those who want to create new life or parent a child never feel they cannot because the ground they stand upon is not suitable. It also means that no one should ever be coerced into bringing new life into a situation they do not believe is ready to sustain it."

Those who want a child can go about creating new life themselves, and those who do not want a child must not be "coerced" into bringing new life into the world. When the baby is desired, it's the couple who creates new life; when the baby is unwanted, it's the couple who must not be forced to sustain a life they didn't want to create. In the latter instance, the "seed" has fallen on bad ground and should therefore be destroyed. In both cases, the Author of Life is not mentioned.

It's not life that is sacred to Westfox, but the power over life and death he believes should rest with each sexually active person, not with God. His creed is about control, not honoring life.

Nowhere in Westfox's exposition does he acknowledge the purpose of sex or the obligation to respect its life-giving nature and the marital relationship for which it was created. He says nothing of responsibility unless it's the responsibility we have to "not force life" into an unsuitable situation.

He states, "A truly pro-life theology means working for health care, employment, and other factors so that no one ever feels he or she cannot be a parent because the conditions aren't suitable and that we never force life into a situation that lacks one of the most fundamental ingredients of healthy ground - parents who are ready to love and welcome the child."

A convincing deception always contains valid truths, as this one does. Indeed, a truly pro-life theology does include proper health care, employment, community support, and many other factors. But Westfox builds his theology on a mirage of sand. He has no foundation because he denies the inherent dignity of every human being from the moment of conception. What good are health care and employment if you don't first protect the human person?

Regardless of circumstance, each child conceived has the right to live and be born. We are the recipients of each gift of new life; we are not the creators or the judges who can decide who lives and who must die.

Anyone unwilling to defend human life from the moment of conception has no pro-life theology. Westfox is stunningly deceived. His "reproductive choice" theology is not remotely pro-life. He is a mouthpiece for the culture of death, sadly feeding other weak souls this poisonous diet of sophistry. That he uses the Resurrection and the teachings of Christ to sell his snake oil is the worst kind of blasphemy.
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« Reply #53 on: May 14, 2011, 05:25:29 PM »

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That is a fundamental error that leaves this denomination now in the implausible position of claiming to affirm the Lordship of Christ while subverting the authority of Scripture. The removal of the constitutional language about marriage and chastity, coupled with the removal of the language about repentance from what Scripture identifies as sin, effectively means that candidates and presbyteries may defy Scripture while claiming to follow Christ.

Clearly, this action could not have happened without this denomination having abandoned any required belief in the full authority, inspiration, and truthfulness of the Bible long ago. This most recent decision sets the stage for the total capitulation of this church to the normalization of homosexuality — an act of open defiance against the Scriptures.

The other articles are just as sickening. We are watching a mass departure from the Truth of God's Word.
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« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2011, 04:33:09 AM »

The other articles are just as sickening. We are watching a mass departure from the Truth of God's Word.

Are we ever!  I can't imagine what is in store for America, if she doesn't turn around quick.
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« Reply #55 on: May 21, 2011, 10:12:13 AM »

Camping's May 21 Rapture Followers Begin Depleting Life Savings
christianpost.com


If you happened to learn about Harold Camping’s May 21 rapture prediction from a placard on a subway car or bus shelter in New York City, the ad was probably funded by Robert Fitzpatrick – a 60-year-old, retired transit worker from Staten Island who invested his entire life savings of $140,000 into the campaign.

“I’m trying to warn people about what’s coming,” Fitzpatrick told the New York Daily News. “People who have an understanding of end times have an obligation to warn everyone.”

Fitzpatrick isn’t the only person to empty his bank account to warn others based on Camping’s prediction.

NPR recently reported on another one of Camping’s followers, 27-year-old Adrienne Martinez, as saying, “Knowing the date of the end of the world changes all your future plans.”

So, instead of going to medical school like she planned, she gave up that idea. She and her husband, Joel, quit their jobs and moved from New York City to Orlando, where they rented a home and are currently passing out tracts. Joel says they are spending the last of their savings because they don’t see a need for one more dollar.

“You know, you think about retirement and stuff like that,” he said. “What’s the point of having some money just sitting there?”

“We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left,” Adrienne added.

As sincere as Camping’s followers are when it comes to warning the world about the rapture, and ultimately Judgment Day, several Christian leaders are issuing a different sort of warning.

“The Christian church has seen this kind of false teaching before,” said Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on his blog. “William Miller and his Adventist followers (known, surely enough, as Millerites) believed that Christ would return on March 21, 1844. In the 1970s, popular Christian preachers and writers predicted that Christ would return on various dates now long in the past. All this is embarrassing enough, but now we have the teachings of Harold Camping to deal with. Given the public controversy, many people are wondering how Christians should think about his claims.”

Mohler went on to say Christ specifically admonished his disciples not to claim such knowledge. And, he said, the Bible does not contain hidden codes that we are to find and decipher. Instead, he said, while Christians are indeed to be looking for Christ to return and seeking to be found faithful when Christ comes, we are not to draw a line in history and set a date.

“We are not to sit on rooftops like the Millerites,” Mohler said, “waiting for Christ’s return. We are to be busy doing what Christ has commanded us to do.”

W. Robert Godfrey, president and professor of church history at Westminster Seminary California, pointed out on the seminary’s blog, Valiant for Truth, a glaring omission from Camping’s prediction.

“Camping’s teaching reaches the status of heresy in his recent appeal to the world, ‘Judgment Day,’ an eight page statement online,” Godfrey said. “The saddest and most distressing element of Camping’s latest theological statement is that it is Christless. He does not write about Christ’s return, but about judgment day. In his eight pages of warning and call for repentance he writes only this of Christ: ‘Because God is so great and glorious He calls Himself by many different names. Each name tells us something about the glorious character and nature of God. Thus in the Bible we find such names as God, Jehovah, Christ, Jesus, Lord, Allah, Holy Spirit, Savior, etc. Names such as Jehovah, Jesus, Savior, and Christ particularly point to God as the only means by which forgiveness from all of our sins and eternal life can be obtained by God’s merciful and glorious actions.’”

Slightly differing versions of the document can now be found on the Family Radio website. One includes the quoted material mentioned by Godfrey. Another, the .pdf version, includes another paragraph directly below the one above, about the forgiveness of Christ.

Also joining the debate, Cal Thomas took on Camping in his recent column, saying the prophesized events of Matthew 24 haven’t been completely fulfilled yet. He concluded by saying, “I’m not expecting the end on May 21. That’s because of something else Jesus said. He said he would return when people “least expect it” (Luke 12:40). By that standard, Mr. Camping is wrong because he expects the end to come this Saturday. And so it won’t.”

Camping was recently interviewed by New York Magazine which pointed out that he was wrong about his first end of the world prediction in 1994, and wondered if he had any reservations about his ability to predict such things.

“In 1992, two years earlier than that, I had already begun to see that there was a good likelihood that 2011 would be the end,” Camping said, “but at that time when my research in the Bible was not nearly complete – there were whole books of the Bible that I had not gone through yet very carefully – I thought that at that time that there was a possibility it might be 1994, and so I wrote a book, '1994?' but I put a big question mark after it, and in the book it also indicated that 2011 was also a good possibility. And so it was just a preliminary study that I've been able to complete during the last fifteen years.”

Camping believes the rapture will occur May 21 and that God will destroy the earth on October 21.
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« Reply #56 on: May 21, 2011, 10:13:36 AM »

Right Motive, Wrong Method - US Churches Encouraged To Invite Muslim Leaders To Read From Koran
sltrib.com


Religious and human rights activists are asking U.S. churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to their sanctuaries to read from sacred texts next month in an initiative designed to counter anti-Muslim bigotry.

The June 26 initiative, called “Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding,” is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First. Leaders of the two Washington-based groups said the event hopes to demonstrate respect for Islam in the wake of Quran burnings in recent months.

“As a Christian minister who is a pastor in a local congregation, it is important to me for our nation and our world to know that not all Christians promote hate, attack religions different from their own and seek to desecrate the scripture of others,” the Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, said Tuesday.

More than 50 churches in 26 states already have committed to the initiative, including the Washington National Cathedral.

Tad Stahnke, director of policy and programs for Human Rights First, said he hopes the initiative will draw attention to religious freedom and counter negative stereotypes of Christian leaders making anti-Muslim statements.

“We want to send a message to the world,” he said, “that Americans do respect religious differences and reject religious bigotry and the demonization of Islam or any other religion.”
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« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2011, 10:14:50 AM »

This Sunday morning the Muslim call to prayer will ring out in St. John’s Episcopal Church
jihadwatch.org


“I’ve grown concerned about the demonization of Muslims. I want Montclair to develop an understanding of the religion,” said the Reverend Andrew Butler.

Here we go again. Do the Qur'an readings below constitute demonization of Christianity? Would the Reverend Andrew Butler care to explain why not? Will Montclair's new understanding of Islam include explanations of these Qur'an verses?

Christians have forgotten part of the divine revelations they received: "From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done." -- Qur'an 5:14

Jesus is not the Son of God: "O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One Allah. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender." -- Qur'an 4:171

"It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is." -- Qur'an 19:35

Those who believe that Jesus is God's Son are accursed: "The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! " -- Qur'an 9:30

Jesus was not crucified: "And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain." -- Qur'an 4:157

And when will the mosque in Montclair feature Bible readings?

"Interfaith Service at St. John’s Parish in Montclair," by Megan Schaefer for Baristanet, May 19:

This Sunday morning, May 22, at 10 a.m., the sounds of the adhan — the Muslim call to prayer — will ring out in St. John’s Episcopal Church Montclair.

While there’s no minaret at the church, the words of “Allahu akbar,” (God is greater) will none-the-less invite both Christians and Muslims to worship side by side.

These people don't even know that the Islamic prayers that they will be hearing are direct repudiations of Christianity.

During the interfaith service, verses from the Holy Qur’an will complement readings from the Holy Bible, including during Communion, embracing the traditions of both religions.

Reverend Andrew Butler, Rector of St. John’s parish since September 1, 2010, decided to have this service in order to demonstrate that both Islam and Christianity stem from Abrahamic roots, as well as to dispell negative stereotypes about the Muslim faith.

“I’ve grown concerned about the demonization of Muslims. I want Montclair to develop an understanding of the religion.” Reverend Butler stated.

In addition to Butler, speakers will include Anisa Mehdi, a scholar and journalist who will describe what it means to be a Muslim in America and Abdul-Alim Mubarak-Rowe, an assistant Imam at Masjid Waarith ud Deen in Irvington, a media consultant to the American Muslim Alliance and a journalist.
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« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2011, 04:51:37 PM »

Quote from: HisDaughter
Camping's May 21 Rapture Followers Begin Depleting Life Savings
christianpost.com

Excellent article - the consequences of following a false prophet.
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« Reply #59 on: May 28, 2011, 12:37:00 PM »

Why people stick by scandal-plagued pastors
cnn.com

The streets that were once choked with traffic are now bare. The church's sprawling parking lot is half full. Inside the stylish sanctuary, ushers sway to choir music in front of empty seats.

On a typical Sunday morning, New Birth Missionary Church in suburban Atlanta would be hopping. But on a recent Sunday, the sprawling church complex looked half-deserted and the mood seemed flat.

Six months after a sex scandal involving New Birth's senior pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, became public, the megachurch no longer packs them in. Yet there are loyalists, like C.D. Dixon, who have not joined the exodus.

"I come back to the church even more now because the word is more powerful," she said as she stood with a serene smile in the parking lot before a recent service.

Last fall, four young men accused Long of using his spiritual authority to pressure them into sexual relationships, charges that Long has vehemently denied. On Thursday, lawyers for the four men released a statement saying only that "the matter has been resolved."

For Dixon, though, the allegations only make Long's sermons more powerful.

"The cry from the bishop's belly is more now. We're not dealing with right or wrong. We're dealing with God's deliverance. I don't know if that makes sense to you."

For some, it doesn't. While most church scandals revolve around the conduct of a pastor, there's another question lurking behind the headlines that onlookers often ask: Why do some people stick by their pastor even when everyone else in the church seems to be leaving?

Building a firewall

Some do it because they've placed a "spiritual firewall" around their pastor, and in their own mind, said Sue Thompson, a professional speaker who attended a church that disintegrated after a pastor's extramarital affair was exposed.

She said some parishioners cannot leave a pastor because they credit him or her with a life-changing event, such as inspiring them to overcome drug addiction or turning around a disastrous marriage.

To accept such a pastor's guilt, she said, would lead them to contemplate another possibility: Is my life-changing event just as fraudulent as the pastor who inspired it?

"There is a suspension of common sense, a refusal to put two and two together," Thompson said. "For a lot of people, this is the man who gave them the keys to a whole new way of living. They can't separate the good they received from the man himself, so they feel it would be a betrayal to turn on him now."

When outsiders ratchet up criticism against an embattled pastor, members often go into battle mode, said Thompson, author of "The Prodigal Brother: Making Peace with Your Parents, Your Past, and the Wayward One in Your Family."

"They circle the wagons to protect their guy," Thompson said. "They don't want to see, and they don't want to be made to see what 'the world' sees. They believe the world's view is false, so they form the firewall."

Conditioned by the language of persecution

Some parishioners can't let go because of their reading of the Bible, a religion scholar said.

The Bible is full of persecution stories: The Egyptian oppression of the Israelites, the persecution of Jesus. Some pastors who are frequent targets for criticism condition their followers to stick by them no matter what by invoking these stories, said Jonathan Walton, an assistant professor of religion at Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts.

Parishioners rallied around televangelist Jim Bakker for years before a scandal destroyed the pastor's ministry."Many of these churches are conditioned to be under scrutiny," Walton said. "They view themselves as saints living in exile in the world. Nobody at the end of the day wants to be labeled Judas or, God forbid, Peter, the one who denied the faith at the moment of persecution."

The persecution mentality can take on another dimension when race is added to the mix, said Marla Frederick, author of "Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith."

African-American history is filled with examples of charismatic black religious figures -- the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; Malcolm X; Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam -- who were targeted by shadowy political forces trying to discredit them, Frederick said.

"At the time, it was seen as a white racist society trying to dismantle a strong black organization," Frederick said. "They didn't like to see black men being successful. People felt like there were larger political forces at work."

'Watching a train wreck every Sunday morning'

Sometimes, people stick by an embattled pastor for voyeuristic reasons -- they like watching "train wrecks," said one sociologist who has studied megachurches.

Shayne Lee, a sociologist and co-author of "Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace," said some parishioners see scandal as a spiritual spectacle. They view themselves as participants in a cosmic struggle.

"When you have a spiritual world view that emphasizes the power of the Holy Spirit and you see all these dynamic tensions in church, it's exciting to see the forces of evil and the power of God at work," Lee said. "There's a certain dynamism that's attractive and keeps people coming back."

And then some parishioners won't let preacher scandals drive them away because they say that the message they receive is more important than the vessel that delivers it.

Thomas Kirkpatrick cited that rationale as he walked to New Birth for Sunday service. He shrugged at the allegations surrounding Long.

Long publicly denied the sexual coercion claims, and compared himself to David fighting Goliath. The scandal's impact on New Birth, though, may already be apparent. Attendance has dropped, staff is being laid off and Long recently announced that he would take a salary cut.

A New Birth spokesman attributed the changes to a sour economy and said the declining attendance is the result of more people watching the church service online.

None of this appeared to matter to Kirkpatrick. He said Long would have to answer to God, not him.

"I don't think Bishop Long can do anything worse than what Judas did, and God still loved him," Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick compared pastors to doctors.

"There are people who we trust with our lives every day, like doctors, who do all sorts of things, but we don't question them. This is our spiritual medicine. We come here to get what we need and then we leave."

When asked if there was anything that would cause him to stop attending New Birth, Kirkpatrick lowered his head and paused before he finally said:

"The church would have to close."

Breaking through the firewall

Janet Shan said she couldn't wait that long at her former church. She wrote an online essay about the emotional whiplash she experienced when her church became engulfed in scandal.

Shan was a regular attendee at Chapel Hill Harvester Church, an Atlanta megachurch whose pastor was caught in a sex scandal that involved several women. The church was eventually forced to sell its massive cathedral and close.

When the media first reported the women's accusations, the church's pastor, Bishop Earl Paulk, denied allegations.

He also invoked scripture.

"He blamed it all on Satan," said Shan, a freelance writer and editor of an online magazine, The Hinterland Gazette.

Shan said she didn't initially believe the accusations because she thought the women had ulterior motives. But as more accusations surfaced, she became suspicious.

So did many in the congregation. She said the church pews started emptying "faster than someone yelling fire." Those remaining began arguing among themselves. Church leaders vanished from the pulpit without explanation, she said.

"People were devastated," Shan said. "There was a feeling of defeat in the atmosphere. We were on the front page for all of the wrong reasons."

The allegations over Paulk's sexual indiscretions made headlines for over a decade. One accuser said Paulk molested her when she was a child. That allegation ended in a civil suit that was settled out of court.

During a deposition in another suit filed by a woman, Paulk said under oath that he had slept with only one woman outside of marriage. A court-ordered paternity test then revealed that he had also fathered a child with his brother's wife.

Paulk eventually pleaded guilty to lying under oath, and was fined $1,000 and placed on probation for 10 years. He died in 2009 at 81 from cancer.

Shan left Paulk's church, but like others who had abandoned churches rocked by scandal, it took time to recover.

"I didn't go to church for a year or two," she said. "I've lowered my expectations for pastors."

Trying to persuade a parishioner to leave is difficult, though, said Thompson, the professional speaker who left her own embattled church.

"It cannot be done by simply showing the person who still believes in the charlatan 'the truth' about him," she said. "It can't be done by ridiculing and dismissing the person's faith in the man. It is done by sincere biblical discussions, talking about the red flags that everyone saw but many were ignoring."

Thompson said church members must ultimately learn two lessons: The message must be disconnected from the messenger, and "psychopaths and narcissists live in the church world, too."

Then again, that still might not be enough, she said.

"For a lot of people, it will take catching the guy in the act -- he runs off with church money, he goes to jail, he's caught on film with a prostitute," she said. "And even then, some are so fundamentally misinformed about concepts of forgiveness and judgment that they blindly go on supporting him."
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