Think the story of the Hugenins in New Mexico was the exception to the changing rules? Think again, because an Oregon bakery has gone out of business as a result of holding fast to the Christian faith and refusing to endorse so called same-sex “marriage” with their business.
Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, OR, is a family bakery that has left their location and moved their business to their home as a result of “constant protests and death threats.” Why? Because they refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, and that brought on a state investigation by Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries to see if it violated the state’s Equality Act of 2007, which like other kinds of state laws gave uber-rights to LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender).
After owner Aaron Klein declined to bake the cake and the investigation was triggered, the Kleins’ lawyer responded to investigators, simply saying that the Kleins ”elected not to participate in an event that is not even officially recognized under Oregon law when doing so would violate their constitutionally-protected conscience and religious beliefs.” Continue reading →
You may have heard by now the tale of Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin. Well, I wish it was tale. Instead it’s tragically true. Just in case you don’t know their story…
The Huguenins own their own photography business in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in 2006 they were asked by Vanessa Willock to take pictures at a same-sex “commitment ceremony.” The Huguenins, Christians, declined the job, saying their beliefs conflicted with the message the ceremony. Willock first did what anyone would do. She went and found someone else to do the job. At a cheaper rate, too! Continue reading →
I have been teaching on the doctrine of God on Wednesday nights at my church and last night our topic has been “God Is Creator and Sustainer.” It’s been a good time, a fruitful study, a kind of bird’s eye view of what Scripture teaches us about God. I had employed Psalm 8:1-4 into my lesson to show how God as Creator and Sustainer of all things still cares for every thing, including each and every person.
So I went about reading the text in the Bible study and something caught my eye. I hadn’t looked into the Hebrew or gone deep into this particular passage in my study because, again, this study is a bird’s eye view of the things of God. In just a plain reading of my NASB, I saw language in the English that indicated something deeper potentially going on in the Hebrew — an indication of plurality within the Godhead. Continue reading →
I’m a few years removed now from my time in Louisville, and if home is where the heart is my citizenship is in heaven while my body is here in Carthage, NC. That said, I’m very thankful for the time I spent in the Bluegrass State, and even more for the presidency of Albert Mohler at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a graduate of Boyce College who started my Masters at SBTS before moving to Ohio for a while, I was a direct recipient of the good God has wrought through Mohler’s presidency. He is a man with the conviction to lead (pun intended for those who get it), and the seminary and Southern Baptists are better off for it.
This week’s convocation at SBTS marks the twentieth anniversary of Mohler’s time there as President. Southern has changed drastically in that time, as a school enslaved to the tides of theological liberalism was taken back for the mission for which it was founded.
Do yourself a favor and first read this. It is the text of Mohler’s inaugural convocation address on August 31, 1993, entitled “Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There.” In it he set the tone for what would come at the school, to the glory of God.
After you are done reading that, watch the video below. It’s Mohler’s 21st convocation address, given yesterday, entitled “Don’t Just Stand There – Say Something: The Sin of Silence in a Time of Trouble.”
Just a few short years ago the cliche was that every house in America seemed to have a Bible on the coffee table in their family room, but it was collecting dust for want of being used. Yet, as technology advances and the culture moves from a sort of respect-from-a-distance of Christianity to outright hostility for the faith, the Bible has been replaced by a remote control for each device contributing to our entertainment. Meanwhile, denominational leaders, pastors like me, and church members look out at empty pews, study membership rolls with myriad “inactives,” and wonder how the tide can be turned. We would all do better to realize how we got to thing point.
Hint: One has something to do with the other.
Perhaps in previous generations this wasn’t the case, but today it can hardly be denied that a massive majority of people in America and the world at large do not have the worldview espoused by biblical Christianity. This is the necessarily result in a person who does not esteem God and His word rightly, which is where most people are. And that is ironic, because… Continue reading →
A couple of years ago The Help was released to much critical and popular acclaim, depicting the relationships between white families (particularly women) and the black women who worked for them (“the help”) in 1963-64 Mississippi.
The character of Hilly Holbrook (pictured) exhibits the worst kind of condescending racism. It’s my opinion she is the best written movie villain in many years, as you laugh when you see her get hers, but still want to just ring her neck in the end.
There is no doubt race relations in this country have changed drastically for the better in the past fifty years, since the era depicted in the film, but if the recent death of Trayvon Martin and trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman tell us anything, our society has a long way to go (Note: By that I am referring to the reaction on all sides, and not on the guilt or innocence, right or wrong, of Zimmerman).
This is a tragic reality, really, but not nearly as tragic as the fact that this long way to go is nowhere better seen (I repeat, nowhere better seen) than the local church. It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself who said in 1963, “We must face the sad fact that at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning, when we stand to sing…we stand in the most segregated hour in America.” As the pastor of a small rural Southern Baptist church, I can attest to this fact. Continue reading →
As the moral and cultural tides shift with tsunami-like speed, how should the church of Jesus Christ respond to the idea of same-sex “marriage,” the issue of homosexuality, and people who disagree?
It is practically impossible to go a day avoiding the issue, the debate, the presence of homosexuality in the United States of America. Could you imagine that sentence being true even ten years ago? That’s how quickly the times have changed, not that it hasn’t been a long (or at least a longer) time coming. Homosexuality, through a vociferous cultural campaign, has gone mainstream to the point that any who dare to speak of it as a sin are now deemed out of touch, out of step, ignorant, bigoted, irrelevant, and/or more. “How did this happen?” you may have asked yourself, or another. Pardon the pun, but it feels like the country, not to mention the church, got caught with its proverbial pants down. But where do we go from here? Let’s consider some things… Continue reading →
You may think this an alarmist, irrational post. I can see why you would say that but I respectfully disagree. You may have seen by now this MSNBC “Lean Forward” promo from host Melissa Harris-Perry. If not, take a look…
This is the definition of progress to some people. Since MSNBC has no problem putting their logo and “Leaning Forward” marketing schtick on it, they have at least endorsed the fact that it’s a credible opinion. Our own President campaigned on moving “Forward.” I wonder what the former community organizer has to say about this.
Let’s just state flat out that Melissa Harris-Perry could not be more wrong. Not only does common sense dictate that children belong to their parents, period, but the word of God slams the door shut. It is fathers and mothers who bring children into the world. It is fathers and mothers who are charged with bringing them up in the teaching and admonition of the Lord. It is fathers and mothers called to nurture and love them. See also Deuteronomy 6, the entire book of Proverbs, Ephesians 6, Colossians 3, and more.
I bring this up and add my two cents only for what I feel is a gloomy portent of days ahead. Consider the logic of Harris-Perry. Consider that MSNBC has practically sanctioned it. Consider the political climate of the country. Consider the theological anemia plaguing religious meetinghouses on a weekly basis. Consider how a German couple is in danger of being deported because of the way they are homeschooling when they came here because of their religious beliefs. Consider how adoptions have been thwarted in several countries because couples with Christian convictions that say homosexuality is a sin have not been allowed to adopt.
Is it really far-fetched, given the rapid decline of religious liberty in this country, to imagine a day when children could be forcibly removed from homes by the government because of the Christian convictions of the parents? This is something extremely unpleasant to think about, something that I’m sure would result in my martyrdom, but something I no longer feel is far-fetched.
I think the day is coming. Not today, not tomorrow, but some day. This is the trajectory of our culture.
May God grant to His people a boldness not yet imagined, a resolve to stand upon the solid rock of Christ. Praise the Lord that He is faithful and will preserve His remnant in eternity.