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[Cfamily]Chick-fil-A Stops Giving to Salvation Army, FCA Amid LGBT Protests
« Reply #1464 on: November 21, 2019, 01:03:34 PM »

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Chick-fil-A Stops Giving to Salvation Army, FCA Amid LGBT Protests

Some evangelical supporters consider the shift away from Christian charities a betrayal.


Chick-fil-A has announced plans to end charitable giving to Christian organizations—including the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)—amid concern over LGBT backlash as the popular Christian-owned business expands beyond the US.


The strategic shift has disappointed evangelicals who admired the chain’s stance and leaders at Salvation Army, who say its outreach supports members of the LGBT population facing homelessness and poverty.


“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told the site Bisnow on Monday. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”


Chick-fil-A—the country’s third largest fast-food chain, behind McDonald’s and Starbucks—has been blocked from opening new locations in the San Antonio and Buffalo airports this year over criticism for donating to organizations with a traditional Christian view of sexuality. Previously, it has faced resistance for the same reason from politicians in Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago.


Internationally, a shopping center in Reading, England, announced eight days into Chick-fil-A’s lease on a new location that the lease would not be renewed when it expired. The mall cited a desire to “offer an inclusive space where everyone is welcome.”


An unnamed Chick-fil-A executive told Biznow the chain was “taking it on the chin” in media reports about LGBT protests and could not ignore the threat to its growth.


Several years ago, the restaurant chain stopped giving to some organizations ...

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[Cfamily]Planned Parenthood Wins $2.2M Suit Against Pro-Life Investigators
« Reply #1465 on: November 22, 2019, 01:09:28 PM »
Planned Parenthood Wins $2.2M Suit Against Pro-Life Investigators

The jury said the undercover activists who exposed the organization’s sale of fetal parts could not use journalism as a defense.


Pro-life advocates decried an award of more than $2.2 million to Planned Parenthood in a suit involving undercover investigations that provided evidence the country’s leading abortion provider traded in the sale of baby body parts.


A federal jury in San Francisco issued the penalties last Friday against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and, among others, two investigators who secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing their sale of fetal parts, as well as their willingness to manipulate the abortion procedure to preserve organs for sale and use. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt also clandestinely recorded conversations with officials of fetal tissue procurement businesses that worked with Planned Parenthood.


The jury agreed with Planned Parenthood that the defendants were guilty of fraud, trespassing, illegal recording, racketeering and breach of contract, according to The San Francisco Examiner. It awarded Planned Parenthood $870,000 in punitive damages, about $470,000 in compensatory damages and—under a federal anti-racketeering law—triple compensatory damages of more than $1.4 million, The Examiner reported. The total was $2.28 million.


“Regardless of what any court decides, the videos of Planned Parenthood speak for themselves,” said Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), in written comments for Baptist Press. “They reveal an organization whose profit structure is built on violence against women and their unborn children.


“Whatever questions some may have about the legality of the recordings, we should not forget what the recordings revealed: The cruelty, dishonesty and lawlessness of Planned ...

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[Cfamily]Jesus Cares About Your Conspiracy Theory
« Reply #1466 on: November 23, 2019, 01:14:50 PM »
Jesus Cares About Your Conspiracy Theory

By understanding the world of Scripture, we can understand how to approach conspiracies today.


It’s hardly surprising that conspiracies began circulating as soon as Jeffrey Epstein was found dead of apparent suicide in a Manhattan prison one morning in August. Epstein, the wealthy and well-connected financier charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking, probably had dirt on the Clintons, the thinking went. They probably had something to do with his death.


The story swirled on Twitter with an assist from President Donald Trump, who himself retweeted it. That it was one of the easier false claims of today to debunk made no difference. “Conspiracy theories aren’t fueled by facts,” Washington Post reporter Abby Ohlheiser wrote at the time. “They are fueled by attention.”


Seeing the world through the lens of a conspiracy fosters a sense of empowerment that can be intoxicating. It is not difficult to understand the emotional power of believing that we’ve cracked a secret society, that we see the “deep state” for what it is, controlling our government and all. It’s why I can understand how, as polls suggest, most Russian citizens don’t believe America ever went to the moon. I can even make sense of that old-turned-new plot that has caused some Americans to question the roundness of the earth. The ideas have a veneer of “reasonableness.”


Conspiracy theories have probably been around as long as humans have been reasoning. But they are seemingly spreading faster as postmodernism has lapsed into what some philosophers now call “supermodernism.” Supermodernism is a result of information inundation. It’s signaled by folks who give up on questions about what is true and who has the right to tell the correct master narrative. Because ...

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[Cfamily]I Was a Theological Drifter, Then a Reform Jew, Then an Orthodox Jew
« Reply #1467 on: November 24, 2019, 01:06:01 PM »
I Was a Theological Drifter, Then a Reform Jew, Then an Orthodox Jew

How I finally crossed the road to Christ.


I came of age in an ardently literary family. My father served as United States Poet Laureate in the late 1950s, published more than a dozen books, and won most major literary prizes. I grew up surrounded by creative people, friends of my father. Their burning energy gave me a small, mirror-like glimpse into God’s creation of the entire universe. And, like Dad and them, I felt that I might be a writer too.


I grew up in the Episcopal Church. But in my high teens and young twenties I drifted. At seminary in Berkeley, California, during the 1970s—a time and a place where anything you wanted went—I created my own religion. I called it Godianity. Certainly, I believed in the existence of God, hence the name of my religion. But I didn’t know much about that Son of God fellow, and the little I did know seemed impossibly weird.


God and I were pals. We talked to one another, like the creatives we were, discussing my new books. I was sure, in fact, that he had dictated the final 60 pages of one of my novels—Paradise—during an 18-hour burst of ecstatic writing.


Then something happened. I married a Jew. She was an atheist, and her family was mostly secular. My wife’s atheism and my Godianity coexisted comfortably enough, since my Godianity was a private credulity that didn’t war against anything else, not even against unbelief. At any rate, our passionate love triumphed over any possible squabble in the holy zone.


Then my wife became pregnant. Nine months later, our first daughter squirmed in her mother’s arms. Here’s the sudden realization of an atheist: Such a perfect, urgent, demanding, and beautiful creature must be the gift of God, not the product of some random swirl of atoms. ...

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[Cfamily]Theologians: Don’t Lose Sight of Theology’s Most Basic Task
« Reply #1468 on: November 25, 2019, 01:28:30 PM »
Theologians: Don’t Lose Sight of Theology’s Most Basic Task

Students and teachers alike need to remember the difference between knowing theology and knowing God.


Søren Kierkegaard once claimed that the “fundamental idea” he explored was “what it means to be a Christian.” He wrote, “Even if I never managed to become a Christian, I would before God employ all my time and all my diligence at least to get it made clear what Christianity is.”


Everyone who teaches Christian theology shares this same basic task. It is not possible to teach the Christian faith seriously, responsibly, or professionally without attempting to clarify what Christianity is. And one of the most subtle and tenacious obstacles to clarifying the meaning of the Christian faith is the tendency—in teachers and students alike—to lose sight of the difference between knowing theology and knowing God.


As students encounter the capacious world of Christian theology, as they become familiar with its shape and contours, they easily conflate cognitive agreement with Christian faith. They confuse believing in God with believing ideas about God. Furthermore, many do not realize this is happening, which makes the problem even worse. Sometimes this pathology mirrors one that exists in their teachers, and even when this is not the case, our instruction contributes to the problem whenever we teach without an abiding awareness of the difference between knowing God and knowing about God.


Kierkegaard famously launched a blistering attack against teachers who gave the false impression that living as a Christian can be reduced to thinking the right thoughts about God. According to the New Testament, Jesus wants followers, not admirers. Since he is both the truth and the way, to know him you have to commit yourself to him.


Kierkegaard mercilessly derides teachers who lose sight of this. ...

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[Cfamily]All God’s Laws Are Equal. Are Some More Equal Than Others?
« Reply #1469 on: November 26, 2019, 01:09:00 PM »
All God’s Laws Are Equal. Are Some More Equal Than Others?

Why Jesus doesn’t give a straightforward answer to questions about the greatest commandment.


A scribe came to Jesus and asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (Mark 12:28). It sounds like a fair question. First-century Jews counted 613 regulations in the Law, 248 commands, and 365 prohibitions. They ranged from the utterly foundational (“You shall have no other gods before me.” Ex. 20:3) to the apparently peripheral (“Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Ex. 23:19). All of God’s laws are equal, but surely some are more equal than others.


Jesus’ response is fascinating. In a sense, he accepts the premise of the question and gives a straight answer: “The most important one,” he says, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’” (Mark 12:29–30). So there is a “most important” commandment: Love the Lord.


But in another sense, his response challenges the premise, as his responses (especially in this section of the Gospels) so often do. Rather than stopping after his apparently straight answer, Jesus continues: “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (12:31). But notice: That wasn’t what the scribe had asked. He wanted the commandments boiled down to one; Jesus refused to give him fewer than two. In Matthew’s version, he even says that the second commandment is “like” the first, adding that “[a]ll the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments” (22:39–40). The most important commandment, then, is twofold: Love the Lord, ...

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The Georgia Legislature Endorsed Bible Classes. Twice. Why Aren’t Schools Teaching Them?

Despite growing push to put the Bible in classrooms, the politics have only a minor impact on classrooms.


Steve J. Smith wants the 671 high school students in Bleckley County, Georgia, to know the Bible.


As a Southern Baptist pastor, Smith believes Scripture has the power to transform their lives and ultimately lead them to salvation. As superintendent of the county school district, he thinks a basic knowledge of the Christian text helps them understand history, literature, and art.


But when the Georgia state legislature passed a Bible literacy bill in March, authorizing public schools to teach the Bible, Smith shrugged. “My sense is it was a solution in search of a problem, to be quite honest,” he said.


Legislatures across the country have been considering laws that would accomplish one of the long-talked about goals of Christian conservatives—putting the Bible back in schools. Kentucky passed a Bible literacy bill in 2017, approving elective courses on “the historical impact and literary style” of the Bible. Three states looked at similar laws in 2018. Six more considered them in 2019.


After President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the legislation in January, Georgia proposed, passed, and signed its own Bible class bill into law.


There was something odd about this political victory, though. Georgia public schools already had Bible literacy classes. The state had approved them in 2006.


Back then, Georgia’s Bible literacy bill passed with overwhelming support from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and Georgia became the first state since a controversial 1963 Supreme Court ruling to say that the Bible could be taught in public schools.


The 2006 law authorized two electives classes: Literature and History of the Old Testament Era and Literature and History of the New Testament Era. The ...

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Source: The Georgia Legislature Endorsed Bible Classes. Twice. Why Aren’t Schools Teaching Them?

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/qTsezooNomo/georgia-politics-bible-literacy-bills-public-schools.html
https://www-images.christianitytoday.com/images/113905.jpg?w=460
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/a-conservative-christian-group-is-pushing-bible-classes-in-public-schools-nationwide--and-its-working/2019/05/08/f3bb490e-39e8-11e9-a06c-3ec8ed509d15_story.html
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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~ff/christianitytoday/ctmag?a=qTsezooNomo:G2FU5StvLi8:yIl2AUoC8zA
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[Cfamily]Wayne Grudem Changes Mind About Divorce in Cases of Abuse
« Reply #1471 on: November 28, 2019, 01:12:50 PM »
Wayne Grudem Changes Mind About Divorce in Cases of Abuse

Leading complementarian theologian says he no longer believes the Bible offers only two justifiable reasons for ending a marriage.


Wayne Grudem, a leading Calvinist theologian and prominent complementarian, has changed his position to affirm a scriptural basis for divorce in cases of abuse and shared his new stance at a major gathering of evangelical scholars last week.


After hearing examples of real-life couples whose Christian beliefs led them to endure abuse rather than separate, Grudem said he looked closer at Scripture to conclude that abuse may be grounds for divorce, provided pastors and elders seek discernment from God in leading a couple to this outcome.


This revises his long-held view, published as recently as 2018 in his textbook Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning. The historical view of most evangelicals provides two reasons for divorce: adultery (Matt. 19:9) or desertion by an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:15).


“My wife Margaret and I became aware of some heartbreaking examples of such things as severe sexual humiliation and degradation that had continued for decades, and another case of physical battering that had gone on for decades,” he told CT. “In all these situations the abused spouse had kept silent, believing that a Christian's duty was to preserve the marriage unless there was adultery or desertion, which had not happened.”


Grudem, a co-founder of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, presented his new work on the topic at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting last week, in a talk entitled “Grounds for Divorce: Why I Now Believe There Are More than Two.”


Earlier proponents of accepting abuse as grounds for divorce have pointed to Paul’s use of the verb “separate” in 1 Corinthians 7:15, arguing that the verse applies to a spouse fleeing ...

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Source: Wayne Grudem Changes Mind About Divorce in Cases of Abuse

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http://feeds.christianitytoday.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~3/tfQGOIsA0Rk/complementarian-wayne-grudem-ets-divorce-after-abuse.html
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http://www.waynegrudem.com/grounds-for-divorce-why-i-now-believe-there-are-more-than-two/
https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/november/complementarian-wayne-grudem-ets-divorce-after-abuse.html
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http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/christianitytoday/ctmag/~4/tfQGOIsA0Rk
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