Loading...

Follow CBMW.org Blog | The Council on Biblical Manhood.. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to cbmwoffice@cbmw.org with the subject “News Roundup.”

Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Calling same-sex attraction sinful makes LGBT individuals ‘more like the rest of us,’ says evangelical leader, The Christian Post (Michael Gryboski)

“Burk added that he was not arguing that ‘all sin has the same consequence,’ but he was stating that ‘all sins have the same source and that source is in every single one of us…The odd thing about what you see in debates among the Christians about this is that we’re seeing some people wanting to treat same-sex sin as different from all other kinds of sins,’ continued Burk.”

Improper Voting Discovered at Methodist Vote on Gay Clergy, New York Times (Elizabeth Dias)

“The final 54-vote margin against gay clergy and same-sex marriage exceeds the number of unauthorized votes discovered so far. But the voting irregularities raised questions about the process behind the divisive decision, which devastated progressive members. Some have discussed leaving the denomination and possibly creating a new alliance for gay-friendly churches. Church leaders are now discussing whether new votes should be called, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, who serves on the commission on the general conference, said in a phone interview.”

Azusa Pacific University lifts LGBTQ relationship ban (again), San Gabriel Valley Tribune (Christopher Yee)

“The university Board of Trustees directed administrators to update the student handbook for undergraduate students, campus spokeswoman Rachel White confirmed. The changes specifically removed language that barred LGBTQ relationships as part of a standing ban on pre-marital sex.”

Maltese Catholic Criticize Archbishop Scicluna’s Leadership on ‘LGBT’ Issues, National Catholic Register (Edward Pentin)

“A priest representing Pope Francis’ point man on sexual abuse in the Church, Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, spoke approvingly of homosexuality as created by God and ‘part of his plan’ to a talk show audience last week.”

SBC exec says churches should address abuse of adults, Baptist Standard (Adelle M. Banks)

“Lyell said she experienced ‘the best of what advocates of sexual abuse response reform are calling for in the Southern Baptist Convention.’ Still, she said that churches need to do more to address abuse. Lyell discussed the issue in a recent podcast released by another SBC agency, saying she thinks there are key factors churches should understand about sex abuse. ‘I’m going to say two things that the church needs to realize and understand and that is, first of all, that sexual abuse does not only happen to children,’ she told Trillia Newbell, host of the ‘Better Together’ podcast produced by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. ‘And second, is that sexual assault is not only rape.’”

Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Illinois House votes to require LGBT history curriculum be taught in schools, The Hill (John Bowden)

“The measure, which now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) desk for a signature, requires schools to include ‘the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State’ in official textbooks.”

Push for broader LGBT rights slowed by lack of GOP support, Associated Press (David Crary)

“The LGBT rights movement’s top legislative priority, a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill, will be introduced in Congress on Wednesday, but the excitement will be tempered by political reality: The bill could well be doomed, at least for this year, by lack of Republican support.”

Drag queen storytime reader once charged with child sex assault, ABC 13

“Houston Public Library is apologizing after a man charged for sexually assaulting a child was allowed to entertain children at Drag Queen storytime.”

Politicizing Pediatrics: How the AAP’s Transgender Guidelines Undermine Trust in Medical Authority, Public Discourse (Leonard Sax)

“The five-year-old boy who transitions to identify as a girl has taken a major step on a road that may lead to treatment with cross-sex hormones, castration, and infertility. Most five-year-old boys who say they are girls will not persist: fifteen years later, in the great majority of cases, that boy will say he is a man, not a woman. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is now on record prioritizing the opinion of a five-year-old over the considered judgment of the child’s parents.”

Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Beneath Gillette’s “What Is A Man?” Controversy, By Faith (Gary Yagel)

“In such a world, it would be easy to take the path of least resistance and minimize the biblical teaching of God’s design for male and female. After all, why create a stumbling block for the gospel? Such a response, though, misunderstands today’s millennials. Radical feminists who seek to eliminate male/female distinctions are a small minority of the millennial population. The vast majority recognize that male/female differences are real and want help knowing how to make masculinity and femininity work in their own lives. How tragic for us to miss the cry in the #MeToo movement for a form of manhood that can only be found through the redemptive power of Jesus!”

The Harlot, the Virgin, and the Bride, Desiring God (Scott Hubbard)

“The prophet Hosea gives us a story to grip our imaginations: God’s justifying grace turns a harlot into a virgin, and his sanctifying grace turns the virgin into a faithful bride.”

3 Things to Tell Your Children About Gender, The Gospel Coalition (Dan Doriani)

“This short article cannot address every transgender issue, but I seek to equip parents to talk to their children about gender. It is vital to offer compassion and care to all who experience body dysphoria—the sense that they inhabit the wrong body.”

Marriage bolsters family life, survey shows, The Irish Catholic

“The Global Family and Gender Survey looked at family trends in 11 countries including Ireland. It found while 18% of married couples have had ‘serious doubts’ in the past year that their relationship would last, compared to 34% of cohabiting couples, who were also less likely than married couples to be ‘very satisfied’ with their family life.”

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to cbmwoffice@cbmw.org with the subject “News Roundup.”

Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

New details of former SBTS prof’s resignation alleged, Baptist Press (David Roach and Shawn Hendricks)

“Nine months after Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor David Sills resigned for undisclosed reasons, a woman has released a statement of allegations including details of what she says was a morally inappropriate relationship with Sills for more than a decade, beginning while she was a Southern Seminary student…Lyell decided to make her allegations public, she said, when she ‘learned that Dr. Sills had been appointed as a missionary with a non-SBC missions agency.’ ‘I now realize that despite SBTS handling the situation justly and as I asked — without stating the reason for his resignation — it led to the exact kind of scenario the SBC is now trying to prevent,’ she said”

Ga. pastor repents, church fires accused staff member, Baptist Press (David Roach)

“A Georgia pastor has confirmed the termination of a church staff member who allegedly ‘admitted to assaulting several young people years ago.’ The pastor also apologized to the Southern Baptist Convention and SBC President J.D. Greear for having ‘failed my duty as a pastor in not taking action sooner.'”

Pro-LGBT churches not leaving UMC just yet, advocacy groups say, The Christian Post (Michael Gryboski)

“Jan Lawrence, executive director of the Reconciling Ministries Network, which has hundreds of churches affiliated with them, told The Christian Post that leaving the denomination is not being considered. ‘We do not know of any churches currently discussing exit. We are encouraging our churches not to discuss leaving at this point,’ explained Lawrence.”

The Demise of Traditional Christian Sexual Morality Is Greatly Exaggerated, National Review (David French)

“This is an important cultural moment. It is now clear that a majority of America’s largest mainline denomination agrees with the teaching of their Catholic and Southern Baptist brethren about the immorality of sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman. For some time now, the progressive cultural elite has been casting traditional Christian sexual teaching as fringe, outdated, and even bigoted. Yet here we are in 2019, and the largest Christian denominations remain united. Add the growing LDS church to the mix, and each of America’s four largest churches are united on the basic fundamentals of sexual morality.”

Doing the global United Methodist math, Knoxville News Sentinel (Terry Mattingly)

Unlike other Protestant bodies, the UMC is truly global, with 12.5 million members worldwide — a number that is growing. However, there are only 6.9 million in the United States, where key statistics are declining — especially in the more liberal North and West.

Archbishop of Canterbury celebrates 25 years of women’s ordination in Church of England, Anglican Communion News Service

“A service has been held in the chapel of Lambeth Palace – the official London residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury – to celebrate 25 years of the ordination of women in the Church of England. The then-Bishop of Bristol, Barry Rogerson, ordained 32 women in Bristol Cathedral on 12 March 1994 in the first of many ordinations that year. A message from Bishop Barry was read to the more than 80 female priests who were invited to Friday’s service.”

Lay Review With Teeth: What (Didn’t) Happen at the Vatican’s Sexual Abuse Summit, Public Discourse (Stephen Bainbridge)

“The Vatican’s recent Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church failed to produce any new reforms. Cardinal Cupich’s proposal would leave decision-making power in the hands of those authorities that Church members trust least: the bishops and the Vatican hierarchy. Instead, the Church needs to take investigatory and disciplinary processes out of the hands of local bishops and assign them to a national panel with lay members.”

Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

The LGBTQ Equality Act heads back to Capitol Hill, this time with massive corporate support, CNBC (Noah Higgins-Dunn)

“When the LGBTQ Equality Act was first introduced in 2015, three companies publicly supported it: Apple, The Dow Chemical Company and Levi Strauss & Co. Now as the bill — which would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity — heads back to Capitol Hill, it has 161 corporate backers.”

Joe Biden responds to criticism after calling Pence a ‘decent guy,’ CNN (Arlette Saenz)

“The ‘decent guy’ comment prompted a round of criticism on Twitter. Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon tweeted, ‘.@JoeBiden you’ve just called America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader ‘a decent guy.’ Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community.'”

Masterpiece Cakeshop, state of Colorado agree to mutual ceasefire over harassment, discrimination claims, The Denver Post (Elise Schmelzer)

“More than six years of legal battles between Lakewood’s Masterpiece Cakeshop and the state will end after baker Jack Phillips agreed to drop his lawsuit alleging the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was harassing him for refusing to make LGBTQ-themed cakes, in exchange for the commission halting its own actions against him.”

How to Raise a Child Without Imposing Gender, The New York Times (Michael Tortorello)

“As for the nursery, the Scottens wrestled with a design question encountered by a generation of new parents, who, surveys suggest, hold more accepting views of gender nonconformity. How to create a room where a baby can grow up to become a boy, a girl or whatever feels right?”

Girls Have Always Been Better at School. Now It Matters More, Bloomberg (Justin Fox)

“That’s reason to think that the earnings gender gap will keep shrinking, which is a good thing for working women, and presumably won’t be much of a negative for college-educated men. But it also implies that the education gender gap will become even more salient in American life, and possibly more disruptive (men don’t always handle reduced status super-well).”

Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Does Singleness Require a Special Calling?, Crossway (Sam Allberry)

“Like a superpower, we presume singleness must be rare and unusual. The whole point of superheroes is that their powers are abnormal. That’s part of the appeal. They are set apart from the rest of us. And so those with the gift of singleness must be a select group who can cope with singleness in a way the rest of us cannot. It seems to fit what Paul is saying and to fit our experience of what singleness is like. But there are a number of problems with this way of thinking.”

Have Sex Like You Know God, Desiring God (Marshall Segal)

“If we gladly obey all that God has said about sex, within the promises of a covenant before God, he gives sex a depth the world has never known. In any given marriage, there may still be major challenges to overcome, because sex, like everything else, is part of the fabric of a sin-broken world. But if we have sex like we know God, sex is about so much more than the mechanics of intercourse. It’s about God — seeing God, hearing God, enjoying God.”

Nadia Bolz-Weber and the Sexual Revolution We Need, The Gospel Coalition (Alisa Childers)

“Yes, we need reform. But what Bolz-Weber offers is not reformation. She has recycled a sexual ethic as old as paganism itself and rebranded it as Christian. True reform wouldn’t be to abandon the Bible’s teaching, but to actually start living it.”

The Real Housewives of America: Dad’s Income and Mom’s Work, Institute for Family Studies (Robert VerBruggen and Wendy Wang)

“Among mothers married to husbands who work full-time and year-round—the population most likely to have the option of staying home—there is a U-shaped curve between a mother’s chances of being out of the labor force and her husband’s earned income. That is, the real housewives of America are most likely to be found among women married to men earning just a little or quite a lot.”

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to cbmwoffice@cbmw.org with the subject “News Roundup.”

Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Conservative Christians Just Retook the United Methodist Church, The Atlantic (Emma Green)

“Now that the UMC has voted to reaffirm its stance against homosexuality and toughen punishments for churches and clergy that violate its teachings, a number of progressive churches might consider leaving the denomination. Before the meeting had even begun, churches from across the theological spectrum had begun looking into this possibility—Daniel Dalton, a lawyer in Michigan who specializes in religious-property issues, says he has talked with more than 700 churches that are thinking about making an exit.”

3 of U.S.’s biggest religious denominations in turmoil over sex abuse, LGBT policy, PBS (David Crary)

“It has been a wrenching season for three of America’s largest religious denominations, as sex-abuse scandals and a schism over LGBT inclusion fuel anguish and anger within the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist churches. There’s rising concern that the crises will boost the ranks of young people disillusioned by organized religion. “Every denomination is tremendously worried about retaining or attracting young people,” said Stephen Schneck, a political science professor at Catholic University. “The sex-abuse scandals will have a spillover effect on attitudes toward religion in general. I don’t think any denomination is going to not take a hit.”

Southern Baptists Torn Between Bold Abuse Reforms and Caution, Christianity Today (Kate Shellnutt)

“Conflicting statements from Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leaders on the denomination’s approach to addressing sexual abuse have left victims, advocates, and pastors themselves with a sense of whiplash—and called into question the fate of proposed reforms to improve accountability among SBC churches.”

NewSpring Church Hit With Two Lawsuits After Volunteer Charged With 14 Counts of Sexual Misconduct Involving Children, Relevant Magazine

“South Carolina’s NewSpring Church is defending itself against two lawsuits alleging that low oversight and a lack of diligence enabled a former church daycare volunteer to molest at least 14 children. The megachurch has issued a public response to one of the lawsuits, saying that, ‘Such criminal act was not intended or directed by [NewSpring] and could not be foreseen by [NewSpring] … NewSpring performed a screening process that included a criminal background check that showed no prior records.'”

2018 National Faith & Sexuality Survey, Ozanne Foundation

“The 2018 Faith & Sexuality Survey was designed to examine the role religious belief has on people’s understanding and acceptance of their sexual orientation in the UK.”

Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

With women in combat roles, a federal court rules male-only draft unconstitutional, USA Today (Gregory Korte)

“A federal judge in Texas has declared that an all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military. The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981. In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that a male-only draft was “fully justified” because women were ineligible for combat roles.”

Canadian Court Rules Parents Can’t Stop 14-Year-Old From Taking Trans Hormones, The Federalist (Jeremiah Keenan)

“On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence.”

A Colorado Springs wrestler made history when he knocked himself out of the state tournament rather than wrestle a girl, The Denver Post (Sean Keeler)

“Johnston is forever a part of Colorado state tournament lore now. He’s cool with that. His decision to forfeit twice at the 2019 state tourney — effectively eliminating himself from a competition he had a solid shot at winning — on personal and religious grounds rather than wrestle two girl competitors, may divide your inner circle right down the middle. He’s cool with that, too.”

Another Sexual-Assault Acquittal Reaffirms the Need to #BelieveEvidence, National Review (David French)

“At this point, how many more court cases do we need before we return to sanity and reason in the battle over campus sexual assault? As I wrote last month, judges across the country (including, most notably, California judges) are rebuking colleges and universities for establishing campus kangaroo courts designed to secure more punishments for young men. And now we’re seeing real courts demonstrate once again the power of due process.”

In Their Own Words: Parents of Kids Who Think They Are Trans Speak Out, Public Discourse (Five Anonymous Moms)

“Parents like me must remain anonymous to maintain our children’s privacy, and because we face legal repercussions if our names are revealed. Parents who do not support their child’s gender identity risk being reported to Child Protective Services and losing custody of their children. In New Jersey, the Department of Education officially encourages schools to report such parents.”

The Gay-Rights Activists Hoping for a Legal Victory in Kenya, The New Yorker (Jacob Kushner)

“On a recent Friday, gay and lesbian couples, dressed in matching outfits, posed for photos outside of a Nairobi courthouse, in anticipation of a decision that they hoped would decriminalize gay sex in Kenya. The country’s High Court, however, unexpectedly postponed, until May 24th, its ruling on whether to strike down a nearly century-old law. “Whatever happens, we intend to fight this battle until the end,” Njeri Gateru, the director of the National Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, one of the gay-rights groups litigating the case, told me. “The end, to us, means a space where we finally achieve equality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

The Beauty of Surrendered Sexuality, Desiring God (Philip Ryken)

“Many Christians know at least some of the biblical do’s and don’ts about sex — especially the don’ts. What we don’t always understand is the beauty of the why — why God says what he says about sex, and why it is meant for our blessing. The better we understand God’s sacred design for human sexuality, the less we will settle for smaller pleasures that quickly turn into spiritual bondage. Instead, we will be so captivated by God’s sacred design that we will feel compelled to surrender our sexuality to Jesus Christ, and experience the freedom and the joy that will come as a result.”

Girl, Follow Jesus, The Gospel Coalition (Jen Oshman)

“Hollis’s message this time around is, “All that really matters is how bad you want those dreams and what you’re willing to do to make them happen” (83). For a woman who claims Christ, I’m afraid this is in direct opposition to his words.”

Will Complementarianism Die with the Baby Boomers?, Mere Orthodoxy (Jake Meador)

“The atomized order of 21st century liberalism is fragmenting and unsustainable with its incoherencies presenting unique missional challenges as Christians seek to discern the ways in which Christians can and should adopt the cultural garb of the world it seeks to evangelize. As liberalism’s opposition to nature becomes more apparent, these difficulties will be intensified and the minimalist solution will fail because one cannot preserve Christian practice in the home and family if liberalism is designed, as our iteration of it is, to undermine and destroy both. If the scriptural norms about gender are to be preserved, then we must also preserve the natural order in which those norms are seen to be coherent and lively. If the places that create certain sorts of people are destroyed, then those people will cease to exist.”

The End of Parental Rights? A Chilling Case From Canada, AlbertMohler.com (Albert Mohler)

“This story out of Canada reveals the deeply subversive developments of the sexual revolutionaries and their agenda—they now target the rights of parents; they disrupt the life of the home and subvert familial bonds. The court’s decision in British Columbia opened the door to the nullification of all parental rights—the child, no matter the age, is increasingly considered to be autonomous. Children and teenagers, guided and advised and even pushed by activists and medical authorities, can decide what to do with their bodies. Not only that, if the parents dare to refer to their transgender child by their actual sex, the parents can be charged with violating the family violence laws.

“This is not a twisted fantasy novel. It is a real case, with real people, with a real judge, and with massively real consequences.”

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to cbmwoffice@cbmw.org with the subject “News Roundup.”

Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Why a Vote on Gay Clergy and Same-Sex Marriage Could Split the United Methodist Church, New York Times (Timothy Williams)

“The United Methodist Church is meeting in St. Louis this week to vote on whether to strengthen or end its prohibitions on same-sex marriage and ordaining gays and lesbians — a decision that could splinter the church.”

African Methodism will not bow the knee to US progressivism, CBMW (Colin Smothers)

“[W]e Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to ‘grow up.'”

Southern Baptists Want to Expel Churches Over Abuse, Christianity Today (Kate Shellnutt)

“After a Houston Chronicle investigation uncovered hundreds of instances of criminal sexual abuse within its churches, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president J. D. Greear said the denomination needs to “repent of a culture that has made abuse, cover-ups, and evading accountability far too easy.”

Top Catholic cardinal admits church destroyed documents on clergy sexual abuse, CNN (Daniel Burke and Rosa Flores)

“In a remarkable admission, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said Saturday that documents that could have contained proof of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church were destroyed or never drawn up.”

Australian Cardinal George Pell convicted of sexually assaulting two choirboys, Washington Post (A. Odysseus Patrick and Chico Harlan)

“Cardinal George Pell has been convicted in an Australian court of sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys in the 1990s, in a decision suppressed by a gag order until Tuesday, making him the highest-ranking Catholic cleric to be criminally punished for such offenses.”

Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Who Needs Gender? Why Men and Women Are Dressing Identically, The Wall Street Journal (Jacog Gallagher and Hayley Phelan)

“Unisex style is rising, but are separate men’s and women’s clothing lines really a thing of the past—and what does the gender-neutral revolution mean for you?”

Senate blocks bill on medical care for children born alive after attempted abortion, Washington Post (Mike DeBonis and Felicia Sonmez)

“The Senate voted Monday to block consideration of a measure that would punish any doctor who fails to provide medical care to a child born alive after an attempted abortion.

“All but three Democrats voted against a procedural motion on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, denying it the necessary 60 votes to proceed. The final vote count was 53 in favor and 44 opposed.”

Tennessee attorney general includes “transgender” in state’s hate crime statutes, ERLC (Andrew T. Walker)

“Last week, The Tennessean reported that Tennessee’s attorney general, Herbert Slatery, issued an opinion including ‘transgender’ in the state’s hate crime statutes. Tennessee is the first state in the geographic South to make this move.”

Judge rules both twin sons of gay couple are Americans after one was denied citizenship, The Independent (Sarah Mervosh)

“Aiden was conceived using sperm from his American father and Ethan was conceived using sperm from his Israeli father, court records show. The boys were born two minutes apart from a surrogate mother in Canada in 2016.”

Bioethicist: Block Transgender Puberty Even If Parents Say No, National Review (Wesley J. Smith)

“A bioethicist named Maura Priest, from Arizona State University, argues that children with gender dysphoria have the right to have their puberty blocked medically — and that if parents don’t consent, the state should push them aside and do it anyway.”

Martina Navratilova removed from LGBT organization board for ‘transphobic’ comments, ESPN

“The US organization Athlete Ally, which aims to support the rights of LGBT sportspeople, has cut ties with tennis champion Martina Navratilova, saying comments she made in a British newspaper were transphobic. Navratilova — an 18-time Grand Slam winner — argued it was “cheating” to allow transgender women to compete in female competition because they would benefit from unfair physical advantages.”

Mother’ and ‘Father’ Replaced with ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’ in French Schools under Same-sex Amendment, Newsweek (Callum Paton)

“The amendment, which passed into law alongside a new school bill Tuesday, has been seen by France’s majority La République en Marche Party (LREM) as a necessary step to bring France’s schools into line with the European nation’s 2013 same-sex marriage law.”

Connecticut runners part of debate over transgender athletes, Washington Post (Pat Eaton-Robb)

“Yearwood, a 17-year-old junior at Cromwell High School, is one of two transgender high school sprinters in Connecticut, transitioning to female.

“She recently finished second in the 55-meter dash at the state open indoor track championships. The winner, Terry Miller of Bloomfield High, is also transgender and set a girls state indoor record of 6.95 seconds. Yearwood finished in 7.01 seconds and the third-place competitor, who is not transgender, finished in 7.23 seconds.”

Trans athletes make great gains, yet resentment still flares, NBC News (Associated Press)

“Across the U.S. and in many places abroad, transgender athletes are breaking barriers in high school, college and pro sports and being embraced by teammates and fans. But resentments can still flare when transgender women start winning and dominating their sport.

“Exhibit A is a recent public exchange involving tennis great Martina Navratilova, who came out as a lesbian in 1981 and is a longtime gay-rights activist. She now stands accused of being “transphobic” after asserting that many transgender women — even if they’ve undergone hormone treatment — have an unfair advantage over other female competitors.”

Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

My Girlfriend Affirms Homosexual Love – Is This a Deal-Breaker?, Desiring God (John Piper)

“The fact that she can affirm homosexual activity and you can’t signals deep, deep differences in what your most basic moral and spiritual instincts are. The spiritual roots of her and your convictions are very different.”

Should Women Be Wearing Head Coverings In Church?, Gospel Coalition Canada (Paul Carter)

“A woman in our day and age who wants to practice what Paul is preaching in 1 Corinthians 11 probably begins by deciding to look like a woman. I think that means rejecting some of the gender-bending and gender blending trends that we are observing in our culture at present.”

When Less Is More: Implications of the ‘All-or-Nothing Marriage’ for Relationship Education, Institute for Family Studies (Alan J. Hawkins)

“Finkel’s basic thesis is that marriage has undergone dramatic shifts across history, changing from an institution tasked with helping people meet basic needs, to one that nurtures companionship (albeit within pretty traditional gender roles), to one that is now oriented toward achieving greater self-fulfillment, self-discovery, and personal growth.”

How Jesus Trains Husbands, Tabletalk (Guy M. Richard)

“I want to spend some time exploring, first, what it means to love our wives in a Christlike way, and second, how we can evaluate whether we are succeeding.”

My Husband Is Passive – What Can I Do?, Desiring God (John Piper)

“God’s purpose for you is to refine and deepen your faith and your holiness through the disappointing parts of your spouse’s personality. The fight of faith is to treat your spouse better and better out of the resources that you find in Christ.”

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Beginning on Saturday, nearly one thousand United Methodist delegates gathered in St. Louis to debate the issue of whether the UMC should revise their church’s doctrine and practice regarding same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy. They will consider several proposals, including one favored by the United States bishops called the One Church Plan, which drastically redefines marriage to include same-sex unions and allow for LGBT clergy and attempts to carve out exceptions for conservative clergy and laity that disagree with such a radical departure from church tradition. For more information on the One Church Plan, see this earlier post.

On the first day of the conference, United Methodists heard a convictional and pointed address against the proposed liberal reforms from Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, an African delegate who is a professor at the United Methodist University in Liberia. You can read his entire remarks here.

One of the themes of Dr. Kulah’s address is the specter of what has been called ideological colonialism in the current debate in the UMC on LGBT issues. Kulah could not have been more emphatic about his and the African delegates’ defiance in the face of such progressive strong-arming:

 “Friends, please hear me, we Africans are not afraid of our sisters and brothers who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning, or queer. We love them and we hope the best for them. But we know of no compelling arguments for forsaking our church’s understanding of Scripture and the teachings of the church universal.

And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”

Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S” (emphasis added).

If the UMC adopts the One Church Plan or something like it, some have wondered if the unity of global Methodism can be preserved. If schism occurs, progressive Methodists in the US have suggested that African Methodism would not be able to sustain itself without US financial aid. Kulah was vigorous in his rejection of such a contemptible suggestion:

“[W]ith all due respect, a fixation on money seems more of an American problem than an African one. We get by on far less than most Americans do; we know how to do it. I’m not so sure you do. So if anyone is so naïve or condescending as to think we would sell our birth right in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they simply do not know us.

We are seriously joyful in following Jesus Christ and God’s holy word to us in the Bible. And in truth, we think many people in the U.S. and in parts of Europe could learn a great deal from us. The UM churches, pastors and lay people who partner with us acknowledge as much.

Please understand me when I say the vast majority of African United Methodists will never, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for money” (emphasis added).

Praise God for Dr. Kulah and the African Methodists. And pray for the UMC, that the Lord would lead them into all fidelity and truth over the next four days, and that he would protect his flock from the ravenous wolves in wool.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Editor’s Note: CBMW receives a lot of questions at our office email, cbmwoffice@cbmw.org. As a staff, we try to answer as many of these as we can. Occasionally these questions and answers are applicable to many situations. This is why we have started a series called CBMW Mailbag, in which we will periodically post answers to questions sent to our inbox. Names are changed to protect privacy.

Dear CBMW,

I am 21, and there is a girl I’m interested in pursuing who is a couple years younger. She loves Jesus, and I have seen several signs that her heart is in the right place. She has a spiritual maturity much greater than most of our peers. I’ve been interested in her for several years. My parents are godly people who are saying I need to wait a couple more years so that both of us can grow and mature more since so much change happens during this period of life, especially in light of higher divorce rates the younger a couple is.

However, I am really having a hard time with that— I feel very ready to move forward financially and spiritually, and I keep thinking that we’ll both never be as mature as we could be. Additionally, and maybe I’m being reckless with this, but I think that the Holy Spirit would help us get through it if we continue to seek the Lord! These feelings for her have not gone away. I know my parents are godly people who have much more experience of walking with the Lord than I. Are they right? When I think about waiting longer, it’s almost too much for my emotions to bear, but I’m also trying to determine if that shows my heart is in the wrong place. I’ve been praying a lot for my parents to see from my view, or vice versa, but nothing has changed.

Thanks for your help— I appreciate your ministry.

Christian

Dear Christian,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing about your situation in search of godly counsel. It sounds like you are asking many of the right questions, but without knowing you personally or the girl you are interested in—let alone your parents, her parents, or your pastor(s)—unfortunately I will only be able to speak in generalities and offer what are, Lord willing, general wisdom principles.

Honor your father and mother

The Scriptures command us to honor our father and mother (Exod. 20:12) and children to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1). While many of us assume these commands only apply to children still under their parents’ roof, so to speak—a figure of speech that can be applied both literally and metaphorically, such as degree of financial dependence—the command to honor your father and mother has application for grown children as well. To be sure, honoring your parents when you are young compared to when you are full grown is going to look different. Obedience is always required for children still under strict parental authority, but obedience is not always required when a man or woman goes out from under their parents and establishes their own household. The honor principle, however, must still be honored. You can honor your parents in a variety of ways, such as by seeking and heeding their advice, complying with and seeking to measure up to their standards and ways of living that are not contradicted by the Scriptures, caring for them in their old age, acknowledging the sacrifices they made for your upbringing, etc. The girl you are interested in must strive to honor her parents as well, and part of your leadership in the relationship will be helping her to do so. She is not yours until you say “I do”—she is still under her father’s headship. You both must consider him. And especially since, as you have indicated, your parents are mature, godly believers, they too are filled with the Holy Spirit and seeking what is best for you. The Proverbs tell us that wisdom is often correlated with the amount of years one has lived, and so it would be good for you to acknowledge—both to yourself and to them—that your parents probably have more wisdom than you. Your parents will not always be right, but you should always seek to honor them.

Seek pastoral counsel

I didn’t see in your email anything about what your pastor or church community thinks about your situation. Have you asked your pastor(s)? Have you asked her pastor(s)? (assuming, or course, you both don’t go to the same church.) Marriage is one of the most significant life decisions you will make, and you should seek godly counsel wherever it can be found. God has given his church the gift of spiritual overseers in the gift of pastors. Talk to them and see what they think.

Young marriage is a blessing

“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Prov. 5:18). I am an advocate for godly, mature couples to get married young. I think our modern technological society has unwisely overturned millennia of practical wisdom by pushing the average age of marriage higher and higher, often back into the late twenties and early thirties for women and men, respectively. While part of this is due to the remarkable increases in life expectancy over the past century, part of it is also due to negative cultural factors such as extended adolescence; the proliferation of premarital sex, which is directly connected to advances in modern birth control; and pornography; as well as changing expectations about men’s and women’s roles in society. But while the end-of-life biological realities are significantly different than they were 100 years ago, they are not significantly different at the front end of life. You are right to point out that, God willing, you will continue to grow in maturity, financial stability, etc. Often times these are arbitrary benchmarks that are used to dissuade couples from pursuing marriage when getting married is what they should do. There are, however, real benchmarks that can and should be considered before marriage, such as: (1) Are you both Christians? (2) Are you capable of providing for her and any children the Lord may give you in the first years of marriage? (3) Do you both have a clear-eyed understanding of what the covenant of marriage is, and what to expect in marriage? In my mind, these are non-negotiables. As a father, they are the very things I will not compromise on when I give my daughters away for marriage. But there are other factors to consider too, such as whether or not you have a community of believers in a local church encouraging you toward marriage and would be there to support your marriage.

Marriage is a covenant

This leads us to another point. Are your parents right to point out the high divorce rate among couples married young? Yes, this is a valid concern. But young couples do not have a monopoly on the divorce market. Age will not secure your marriage. Money will not secure your marriage. Romance will not secure your marriage. The only thing that will secure your marriage is a shared, loving commitment to the covenant of marriage before God and his church. If there is any doubt that either of you is any less than 100% committed to upholding the covenant until death, you should not consider marriage. Again, age is a factor to consider in assessing both of your commitments, but I have known couples who married in their late twenties/early thirties that divorced in less than a year, and I have known couples who married in their late teens that are still married with half a dozen kids and a home full of joy.

Prayerful resolution

All that said, the “feelings for her” that you cited are not sufficient grounds to pursue marriage. Your feelings will most certainly wax and wane.  What cannot—must not—wax and wane is your resolve to make a marriage covenant and to keep the covenant; and she must express a similar resolve. Your parents, your pastor(s), and your Christian community can help you discern the when and the who. You should listen to them, and consider the reality that they can see your blind spots. But above all, seek God’s will for your life: your sanctification. And insofar as you have a prayerfully considered and biblically counseled desire to be married, with the accompanying desire to sacrificially love this particular, Christian woman in the covenant of marriage, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4).

Prayerfully,

Colin

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to cbmwoffice@cbmw.org with the subject “News Roundup.”

Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Offend, then repeat, Houston Chronicle (Lise Olsen, Robert Downen, and John Tedesco)

“The SBC has rejected efforts to establish a registry to track sexual abuse cases and prevent churches from hiring predatory pastors. In some cases, churches knew of a pastor’s past and allowed him to work anyway. In others, the SBC’s inaction might have allowed offenders to move from community to community, ruining lives as they slipped through background checks and found jobs at unsuspecting churches.”

Preying on teens, Houston Chronicle (Lise Olsen, Robert Downen, and John Tedesco)

“Southern Baptist churches are the nation’s largest Protestant group, but they lack common hiring protocols or standard pastor training programs. They do not have uniform policies for sharing information about pastors fired or convicted of inappropriate sexual behavior, sexual abuse or assault — the kind of transparency that could protect churches and their congregants from sexual predators such as Foster.”

Southern Baptist president to call for repentance, training videos amid sexual abuse crisis, Houston Chronicle (Robert Downen)

“His office provided a preview of three of ten reforms that Greear is expected to unveil while speaking to the SBC’s Executive Committee in Nashville.”

Statement from R. Albert Mohler Jr. on Sovereign Grace Churches, SBTS News (Albert Mohler)

“As many are aware, I have recently apologized and asked forgiveness for serious errors I made in how I responded to concerns that were raised about Sovereign Grace Churches and CJ Mahaney.”

Strained voices? Events in St. Louis raise concern about the PCA, World Magazine (Jamie Dean)

“A canceled event at South City Church (PCA) in St. Louis, Mo., brought renewed attention to ongoing friction among Presbyterians in the city also home to Covenant Theological Seminary—the denominational seminary of the Presbyterian Church in America.”

Same-sex spouses not invited to next year’s Lambeth Conference of bishops, Episcopal News Service (Mary Frances Schjonberg)

“Archbishop of Canterbury bases decision on 20-year-old resolution from previous gathering”

Hillsong Church Loves ALL People, Hillsong Church

“Hillsong Church was founded in 1983 by our Senior Pastors, Brian and Bobbie Houston and in all those years Pastor Brian has been a vocal opponent of gay conversion therapy and has made it clear to our pastors that we do not support that approach.”

United Methodist Church delegates will debate, vote on church’s stance on homosexuality, WBRC (Catherine Patterson)

“The United Methodist Church is bracing itself for a conference that will take on years of issues surrounding homosexuality. This could potentially split the second largest denomination in the country.”

Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

#BelieveWomen Is in a State of Legal Collapse, National Review (David French)

“Oddly enough, it’s progressive California judges who are dealing the movement its worst blows.”

LGBTQ families are on the cusp of dramatic growth, and millennials lead the way, USA Today (Susan Miller)

“One of the key findings from the survey by the Family Equality Council shows that 63 percent of LGBTQ millennials, those 18-35, are considering expanding their families by becoming first-time parents or by having more children.”

Push for statewide ban on conversion therapy in AZ, AZ Family (Nicole Crites)

“It’s a highly controversial topic in our heavily conservative state. It pits medical and mental health experts who’ve condemned the practice as ineffective, harmful and unethical against family and faith advocates who say this is about freedom of religion and speech, and a parent’s right to choose for their child.”

How a Trans Soldier Took On the Jail That Denied Her Medication, and Won, The New York Times (John Leland)

“She began her transition during a tour of Iraq. When jail doctors on Long Island denied her hormone therapy, her body turned on her. Now they owe her $355,000.”

Airlines to give customers ‘nonbinary’ choice under gender, AP (David Koenig)

“Major U.S. airlines say they will soon change their ticketing process to give passengers the option of identifying themselves as other than male or female. The gender option on airline sites will soon include choices such “undisclosed” or “unspecified.” There could also be the optional title of ‘Mx.'”

Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Sexual Abuse by Teachers is on the Rise, The Aquila Report

Just under 500 educators were arrested on the incidences of sexual abuse in schools nationwide in 2015 according to statistics.

The Dating Games: An Online War Against True Love, Desiring God (Marshall Segal)

Online dating may have wed its thousands, but it’s wounded its tens of thousands. If you’re wandering out into the crossfire in your own search for marriage, are you awake to the pitfalls?

Can You Be Content with Singleness Today?, Desiring God (Rachel Jones)

When I consider my singleness on only today’s terms, it feels a lot less frightening. I have a God who knows me, hears me, and loves me. I have his promises to enjoy and speak back to him. And I have handfuls of gifts from his hand: a church family, friends, a home, a job. I’m okay.

How to get help if you are a victim of sexual abuse, ERLC (Brad Hambrick and J.D. Greear)

We, the church, have failed you, but we do not want you to forgo care or counsel. To that end, here are some options to consider:

Pastor, Preach like Hurt Women are Listening, The Gospel Coalition (Kendra Dahl)

In this day of unrelenting headlines and social-media commentary, the need is acute. But when these things are done well, women with trauma can feel loved by their pastors and, ultimately, by Christ himself.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to cbmwoffice@cbmw.org with the subject “News Roundup.”

Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Abuse of Faith, Houston Chronicle (Robert Downen, Lise Olsen, and John Tedesco)

“In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state. They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions. About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers.”

Southern Baptists and the Scandal of Church Sexual Abuse, Russell Moore (Russell Moore)

“The report is alarming and scandalous, the courage and grace of these survivors is contrasted with the horrific depravity of those who would use the name of Jesus to prey on them.”

The Reality of Sexual Abuse Hits Home: What Happened? What Do We Do Now?, Albert Mohler (Albert Mohler)

“A heinous cloud hangs over the SBC. This unchecked pattern of sexual abuse comes like a deluge as scores of churches and denominational structures fail to protect its most vulnerable.”

All schools should encourage respect and LGBT acceptance, The Guardian (Fiyaz Mughal, et. al.)

“56 members or leaders of religion and belief groups, educationists, campaigners and school leaders warn the Department for Education against any dilution of LGBT advice in the independent school standards”

Methodist Madness, First Things (Charlotte Allen)

“Duke’s president, Vincent E. Price, joined the presidents of 92 other schools also claiming Methodist ties in voting unanimously on January 4 to endorse a statement that calls on the church to jettison a 1984 provision in its Book of Discipline (its rules for church governance) that bars ‘self-avowed practicing homosexuals’ from its ministry and forbids its clergy to perform same-sex weddings. It was a statement timed to precede—and influence—a special session of the UMC’s General Conference devoted exclusively to the church’s teachings on sex, scheduled for February 23–26 in St. Louis. The statement, from the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church, urges the UMC to honor ‘the past and current practices of inclusion by amending their policies and practices to affirm full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church of all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation.'”

Christian group can bar gay student from leadership role, judge rules, NBC News (AP)

“A federal judge ruled the University of Iowa was wrong to penalize a Christian student group after it barred a gay student from a leadership position.”

Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Peter Hitchens accuses university of ‘censorship’ after talk cancelled for LGBT History Month, The Telegraph (Phoebe Southworth)

“Peter Hitchens, who writes for The Mail on Sunday, was due to speak at the University of Portsmouth on 12 February but was told yesterday his invitation had been withdrawn because his views clashed with LGBT History Month”

‘Everyone deserves to be heard,’ Fairfax says, while four of his staffers quit, Washington Post (Laura Vozzella ,Gregory S. Schneider and Fenit Nirappil)

“An effort to consider impeaching Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) over sexual assault allegations went nowhere as lawmakers pointed out that he denies the charges and there is no obvious way to commission an investigation.

What are California’s new sex education guidelines?, ERLC (Jim Domen)

“The new framework, the lynchpin for California’s progressive curriculum, accelerates what unfortunately can only be fairly described as indoctrination to the LGBT worldview at all grade levels.”

Pro-LGBTQ laws outpaced anti-LGBTQ laws in 2018, report finds, NBC News (Julie Moreau)

“The Human Rights Campaign’s annual State Equality Index found state bills advancing LGBTQ rights and protections outpaced those seeking to thwart them.”

Can Businesses Turn Away LGBT Customers? Court Battles Bubbling Back Up, NPR

“[SCOTUS] didn’t settle the looming question on whether the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom are more important than a state or city’s anti-discrimination laws, similar cases are again simmering in lower courts — including Arizona and Colorado.”

Why Girls Beat Boys at School and Lose to Them at the Office, The New York Times (Lisa Damour)

“Hard work and discipline help girls outperform boys in class, but that advantage disappears in the work force. Is school the problem?”

Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Disrupting Christian Patriarchy: Isn’t It About Time, Patheos, Anxious Bench (Beth Alison Barr)

“My goal is not to change your mind through my writing; my goal is to let you see the historical problem of patriarchy for Christianity. Then you can decide.”

Hotel Trans: Check In Any Time, But Never Leave, Family Research Council (Cathy Ruse)

“Transgender ideologues have tremendous power in our culture, and they’re wielding it against the least powerful. If children and their families can survive the pill-pushing gender clinicians, they still have to face the virtue-signaling politicians and their speech bans.”

How to talk to your children about gender, ERLC (Alex Ward)

“How do you talk to your children about sex, gender identity, gender dysphoria, and transgenderism? More importantly, how do you do so in a way that is age appropriate? That is the goal of Brian Seagraves and Hunter Leavine’s short book, Gender: A Conversation Guide for Parents and Pastors”

Yes, Churches Need Women Who Teach, Lead and Preach, Relevant Magazine (Kat Armas)

“When women are empowered, everyone wins. If this is true on a grand and global scale, wouldn’t it be true for the overall health and growth of the Church?”

The Math Behind Successful Relationships, The Wall Street Journal (Jo Craven McGinty)

“Tool quantifies couples’ interaction during an argument—and predicts who will divorce”

How I found hope after my ex-husband was convicted of sexual abuse, ERLC (Shelly Durkee)

“There are still hard days today, but there has been tremendous healing. There is still deep grief for everyone whose lives were impacted. There will always be grief, but there is also hope, redemption, and joy—real joy.”

Knowing Where We Stand: Washington Post Columnist Says Anyone Who Holds to Biblical Morality Is A Bigot–Calls for VP Pence to Resign, Albert Mohler (Albert Mohler)

“In this insidious but extremely revealing article, Cohen does all he can to dismantle the idea that homosexuality could even be imagined as sinful and morally wrong. He proceeds to smear as a bigot anyone who would dare to even think of homosexuality as sinful.”

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the January 2019 edition of the CBMW Newsletter, a monthly ministry update that features exclusive editorial content from CBMW Executive Director Colin Smothers. We are posting part of this month’s newsletter editorial here to give non-subscribers a chance to read it and have the opportunity to sign up here to receive CBMW’s monthly newsletter in your inbox.

This month, the CBMW office was surprised by the news that over 200 pastors and leaders in the Netherlands had translated and signed the Nashville Statement. Although the Dutch translation and signatories were released at the end of last year to very little fanfare, that all changed when media outlets in the Netherlands caught wind of the statement and signatories earlier this month. Significant national—and even some global—backlash quickly followed. Dozens of news reports appeared about the Dutch translation of the statement, including an opinion piece in The Economist.

In a tellingly symbolic move replicated in cities across the Netherlands, the City of Hague, which is the seat of international justice, raised a rainbow flag in protest of the Nashville Statement.

The 60 minutes equivalent of Dutch TV, Nieuwsuur, ran specials on the statement two nights in a row. The second show included an interview with CBMW president Denny Burk. Denny was grateful to be given the opportunity to explain the original intent behind the Nashville Statement, which is more than can be said for American media when the statement was released in the fall of 2017. Although the original statement was covered by secular outlets as diverse as the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, and even some Christian outlets such as Christianity Today, the only media outlet to contact CBMW for comment was WORLD magazine—for which we were grateful.

One alarming aspect in all of this was the report by several news outlets that the Dutch government was considering opening a criminal investigation into the pastors who signed the Nashville Statement. These reports cited as possible grounds for the investigation Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution, which prohibits discrimination “on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever.”

The irony of Dutch media citing Article 1 in the Dutch Constitution should not be lost on us. Article 1 obviously prohibits discrimination on the basis of “sex”—of course an originalist interpretation of this would almost certainly not implicate the Nashville Statement—but one has to completely ignore the first part of the Article in order for this constitutional appeal to make any sense.

Article 1 first prohibits discrimination on the basis of “religion” and “belief” logically prior to “political opinion,” which is itself listed prior to “race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever.” Why this order? There are philosophical and historical arguments behind this order, arguments that stand similarly behind the US Constitution.

Most elementary US History courses recount the story of the English Separatists who fled persecution by the Church of England to Holland (present day Netherlands), which provided them religious asylum and a place to practice their religion according to their consciences. These same refugees, which we know today as the Pilgrims, eventually left Holland aboard the Mayflower for the New World and formed not a small percentage of the original settlers of America when they founded a settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

America’s founding fathers knew their cultural heritage and history when they set about drafting a new constitution for a new nation, and it wasn’t until the First Amendment was added, alongside the other amendments in the Bill of Rights, that the US Constitution was ratified by all of the original states. The first lines of the First Amendment guarantee that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

This priority of religious liberty is no accident, and the philosophical and historical reasons are important to recall: (1) Religion involves the deepest aspects of what it means to be human, to be an individual, and to be an individual in community; (2) All of life is downstream from religion; if one cannot speak, associate, vote, and generally live according to one’s religiously formed conscience—with all the necessary natural law limitations—one is not truly free; (3) A government that bears the sword in order to force strict adherence to a certain religion will make a nation of heretics or hypocrites; and (4) History is replete with examples of governments that ignore these realities at great cost to its subjects.

But ever since the departure of feminism and the acceleration supplied by the sexual revolution, religious liberty has been on a collision course with sexual liberty. This inevitable collision points to a greater conflict between what philosopher Roger Scruton terms human rights vs. natural rights. America’s founding fathers understood, at least in writing, that individuals are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights—what we could call natural rights. The connection between natural rights and the natural law written by the finger of God into His creation is most important. These natural rights are fixed, in that they do not change, grow, or diminish with the passage of time, because the Creator is eternal. And they are rooted in creation, meaning they cannot contradict the natural order.

But progressive liberals, of the kind that were outraged in the latest dust up around the Nashville Statement in the Netherlands, trade in a completely different understanding of rights & liberty. Namely, that human rights are endowed not by our Creator but by our fellow man.

But man is fickle and finite, and human rights that are rooted in man’s permission will likewise be so.

Nowhere is the progressive liberal understanding of human rights and liberty perhaps more manifest than in this quote from Anthony Kennedy, which comes from his Lawrence v. Texas opinion: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Against such folly, it is paramount we as Christians acknowledge that we cannot “define” ourselves to be something we are not, something we were not created to be. This is exactly the premise currently being rejected by the global progressive consensus, especially with regard to sexuality. They are not interested in inalienable, natural rights endowed by the Creator. Instead, at least according to Kennedy’s definition of liberty, the rights they claim for every man are as boundless as his own imagination and as secure as his own mortality. What is more, they are not at all based on our common humanity, but on our fractured individuality.

The Nashville Statement bears witness to a different reality, and these Dutch pastors should be commended for wanting to bear witness to this reality. The preamble of the Nashville Statement confesses, in the words of Psalm 100:3, “Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.”

We should continue to try and persuade those in our pews and a wayward world to recognize the futility of attempting to revolutionize the natural order in the pursuit after arbitrary human rights. This is exactly what these pastors did in the Netherlands, once a safe haven for the religiously persecuted, now prosecuting the religious for their faith. But God is seated on his throne in the heavens. It is He who made us, and it is from Him that all human dignity flows.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview