We’ve all seen the same news stories, right? A pastor in North Carolina (Charles Worley) suggests we put all the “gays” inside an electric fence, provide food and water, and wait for them to die out. Another pastor in Kansas sites Old Testament scripture that homosexuals should be stoned to death. And then there’s the kid with the questionable song lyrics, but let’s leave him to his parents. In the first place he is a minor; secondly, and more importantly, he is probably a reflection of his parents’ world view and has not yet developed his own.
The internet can give a national or even global voice to writers, preachers, etc. that are in otherwise obscure places (such as myself). What I think we’re really dealing with in the North Carolina story is culture shock. Fundamentalist preachers in the Carolina’s, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and so forth probably say a hundred things every week that would shock people, including Christians, from other backgrounds. I can only imagine what would happen if journalists in New York started listening to every fundamentalist, Pentecostal, charismatic or even Southern Baptist sermon from below the Mason-Dixon line each week. Continue reading →
I had never heard of Margaret Court until I read this story out of Australia. Apparently the Australian Open is played at the Margaret Court Arena. She is a professional tennis champion, holding 62 Grand Slam titles. Court is also a pastor with an uncompromising view on gay marriage. Because of her celebrity status in the world of tennis, her views on marriage and family have attracted what she feels is unwarranted criticism. There could be protests at the Australian Open next week, and some are calling for the arena to be renamed.
Read the full story here, via Utterance. Thank you Peter Hallett for the coverage.
The real shame would be if Court is denied the recognition she deserves from the professional world of tennis because of her convictions in her role as church pastor. Her views on marriage are based on scriptural precepts and have not changed. Only recently, however, have they become a thing of public scrutiny. The same protesters waving rainbow flags and claiming people should be accepted the way they are seem to be refusing to accept Margaret Court for the way she is. If her name is removed from the arena because of her views on marriage, which differs from some people, that almost smacks of prejudice.
I’ve written before on Christians fighting the culture war. It is certainly going on, but to what degree are we expected to change this culture we live in versus walk circumspectly of it? Paul was certainly aware of what went on in the public bath houses as he planted churches across Greece, but we don’t find him standing outside those bath houses carrying signs in the first century. He went on planting churches and training pastors, and as far was we know never once made a sandwich board about God hating fags. (Google Fred Phelps if that doesn’t make sense).
Many Christians, evangelicals in particular, have done a questionable job dealing with cultural issues like homosexuality. Can a homosexual also be a Christian? Please don’t answer that question, at least not here. Check out the conversation going on over at Life in Mordor. The Fellowship has grown to three, and as far as I know the door has not been closed. Joe Derbes wasted no time, and jumped right in with both feet on this issue.
After wrting about the gay marriage ruling in California, I got a lot of feedback in the comments. Most statements were made by either conservative Christians that thought the decision was horrible, or by gay men that saluted California for doing the right thing. As expected, they wanted to know what my problem was, and what gave me the right to decide gay couples couldn’t be married. One commenter, however, was unusual.
What follows is the testimony of an individual who previously practiced the homosexual lifestyle before accepting Jesus Christ as savior. This is the story of one who gave up a life opposed to God’s law, and by God’s grace became a believer and a follower. Thank you A.J. for sharing. Continue reading →