With the release of Matthew Vines' God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, conservative Evangelicals are responding with warnings that the book should not cause confusion regarding Scripture's teaching on homosexuality.
The book, Andrew Walker – director of Policy Studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission – says, "is the first step in a larger effort to fundamentally recast long-held, universally acknowledged norms pertaining to sexual ethics."
In his review, Walker notes that not only does Vines identify himself as a conservative evangelical and claim to uphold the authority of the Bible, but his book also comes at a strategic time for the gay rights movement as it was likely written to introduce confusion among Evangelicals – "one of the last remaining constituencies in America that has not embraced homosexuality with gusto." more >>
Malta has become the 22nd European country to recognize same-sex unions and the 10th to allow gay couples to adopt children following a parliament vote, going against the warnings of the Roman Catholic Church, which is the official state religion.
The bill passed by a vote of 37-0, with the opposition abstaining because it is in favor of gay unions but not in allowing gay couples to adopt.
The vote prompted celebratory scenes for the thousands who had gathered at the central square in the capital Valletta to support the passage of the bill. more >>
A gay priest has become the first to defy the Church of England and marry his long-time partner following Britain's legalization of same-sex marriage. A conservative group has warned that there will be a "crisis" for the church if it fails to take disciplinary action.
"There's no doubt that there is pressure within some parts of the church for the church to change its mind on sexuality," said the Rev. Preb Rod Thomas, chairman of the Reform evangelical group, according to The Telegraph on Saturday.
"If there is not clear discipline then it is the equivalent to saying 'we really didn't mean what we said.' It will precipitate a crisis." more >>
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has warned that African Christians will be killed if the Church of England embraces same-sex marriage, noting that decisions by the central body on the controversial issue can have a very big impact abroad.
"I have stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened in America. We have to listen to that. We have to be aware of the fact," Welby said in an interview, The Guardian reported on Friday.
He added that if the Church of England was to embrace gay marriages "the impact of that on Christians far from here, in South Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic. Everything we say here goes round the world." more >>
Author Rachel Held Evans said she is leaving the "evangelical table" following World Vision's announcement last week that it is reversing its decision to allow people in same-sex marriages to be employed. Her desire now is to start a new "table" where everyone is welcome.
"Rather than wearing out my voice in calling for an end to evangelicalism's culture wars, I think it's time to focus on finding and creating church among its many refugees – women called to ministry, our LGBTQ brother and sisters, science-lovers, doubters, dreamers, misfits, abuse survivors, those who refuse to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith or their compassion and their religion, those who have, for whatever reason, been 'farewelled,'" Held Evans wrote in a blog post on her website, which has generated much discussion.
"Instead of fighting for a seat at the evangelical table, I want to prepare tables in the wilderness, where everyone is welcome and where we can go on discussing (and debating!) the Bible, science, sexuality, gender, racial reconciliation, justice, church, and faith, but without labels, without wars." more >>
A gay Seattle Boy Scouts leader was left "stunned" after the organization removed him from his position. Open affirmation of his sexual orientation is in direct violation of its rules, the organization said.
"Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it's not an issue until they deliberately inject it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion," BSA spokesman Deron Smith told NBC News.
Geoff McGrath, leader of Troop 98 in Seattle's Rainier Beach neighborhood, was told that he was being removed from his position after being profiled by NBC News, which revealed his sexuality. The 49-year-old software engineer married his longtime male partner in 2008 in California. more >>