Daily Archives: May 9, 2015

Christians Who Have Avoided the Culture Wars May No Longer Have a Choice, Legal Scholar Says

Christians who have so far avoided controversial “culture war” issues will likely be pulled into those battles as their religious freedom becomes threatened due to…[same-sex] “marriage,” Dr. John Inazu warned Monday.

Theologically conservative Christian non-profit organizations, including churches, could face losing their tax exempt status or being shut down, and Christian doctors, lawyers, counselors and other professionals could be forced out of their professions, he explained.

Inazu, associate professor of law and political science at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, was delivering a presentation, “Religious Liberty and the American Culture Wars,” at the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s “Faith Angle Forum.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

Gregory of Nazianzus for his Feast Day–two contrary doctrines on the same subjct can't both be true

From here:

Now, if they who hold such views have authority to meet, your wisdom approved in Christ must see that, inasmuch as we do not approve their views, any permission of assembly granted to them is nothing less than a declaration that their view is thought more true than ours. For if they are permitted to teach their view as godly men, and with all confidence to preach their doctrine, it is manifest that the doctrine of the Church has been condemned, as though the truth were on their side. For nature does not admit of two contrary doctrines on the same subject being both true. How[,] then, could your noble and lofty mind submit to suspend your usual courage in regard to the correction of so great an evil? But even though there is no precedent for such a course, let your inimitable perfection in virtue stand up at a crisis like the present, and teach our most pious emperor that no gain will come from his zeal for the Church on other points if he allows such an evil to gain strength from freedom of speech for the subversion of sound faith.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Gregory of Nazianzus

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like thy bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who livest and reignest for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Nicholas Ridley

Heavenly Father, the Father of all wisdom, understanding, and true strength: We beseech thee look mercifully upon thy servants, and send thy Holy Spirit into their hearts, that when they must join to fight in the field for the glory of thy holy name, then they, strengthened with the defence of thy right hand, may manfully stand in the confession of thy faith, and continue in the same unto their lives’ end; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars….

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

–Psalm 75: 2-3; 6-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Tulsa World: Nigerian Archbishop brings African perspective to American issues

I had such a privilege this week during a nearly two-hour lunch with Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, one of the leading religious leaders in Nigeria, who was in Tulsa to speak at two churches. (My thanks to the Rev. Briane Turley, Church of the Holy Spirit Anglican, for arranging the one-on-one time.)

Here are some edited excerpts of our conversation:

How central is the principle of freedom to Christianity?

Freedom is the best gift God has given to man. Once there’s no freedom, anti-freedom is simply slavery.

Why do you consider secularism the real danger to Christianity?

Secularism is a self-centered religion, self-serving, very selfish, and the cousin of capitalism. It is about to take over capitalism, which emphasizes hard work and excellence. The distinction between a capitalist economy and secularism is thin.

Secularism has taken away family discipleship, children learning right behavior from seeing their fathers treating the family well, looking after the family, saying their prayers in the morning and evening. That made Muslims admire and respect us as Christians, because being a Christian meant being honest, being humble, being courteous, being able to live with people, so we could win people to Christ.

Secularism throws all of that out the window. It says you don’t have to be a gentleman, just be who you are.

Secularism has no response to Islam. None whatsoever. As long as any nation elevates secularism, it’s only a matter of time, because radical Islam knows how weak secularism is. The only thing they don’t know what to do with is the Christian gospel.

Secularists and violent Islam agree together that the problem is Christians. They are both opposed to Christians.

Why do most African Christians oppose same-sex marriage?

I believe this is a revisitation of colonialism. It’s colonialism coming in another way. Why should the West, because she decides that she no longer needs the Bible, and homosexuality is right, why should they ask me to believe what they believe? They’re denying me the very freedom they preach, and they’re denying me the freedom I already have in Christ.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Global South Churches & Primates

An Indigo Bunting to bring you joy

(Photo by soon-to-be-College-graduate Selimah Harmon)

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Photos/Photography

(WSJ Ltrs) In response to Charlotte Allen–Will Assault on RFRAs Kill Conscientious Objection?

Ms. Allen’s article brings to mind another issue that I’m not sure many of those quick to condemn Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, and the citizens such acts seek to protect, have thought through””this country’s long-standing tradition of conscientious objection to compulsory military service.

The notion that government should not compel citizens to engage in behavior that they find morally objectionable on religious grounds has been honored in this country since its founding. The Supreme Court widened the definition of conscientious objector to include strongly held moral convictions not necessarily based on religious grounds. Perhaps Americans believe there will be no future need for the bad old days of conscription.

The “vengeful triumphalism among the progressive elites” over RFRAs signals a change in what many Americans believe their governments can require.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(WSJ) Charlotte Allen–Modern Sin: Holding On to Your Belief

The irony is that only a few years ago, when the legalization of same-sex marriage didn’t appear so inevitable, gay-marriage advocates eagerly assured a skeptical public that scenarios like those above would never happen. Typical was since-retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who wrote in the 2008 decision legalizing gay marriage in that state: “Affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person.”

The victors have dropped their conciliatory stance. Bubonic plague-level hysteria surged through the media, academia and mega-corporate America in March after Indiana passed a law””modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993””that would enable religious believers to opt out of universally applicable laws under some circumstances.

Amid threats of business boycotts, the Indiana legislature amended the law to ensure antidiscrimination protections for gays and lesbians””but not before a pizzeria in Walkerton shut down for a week amid death and arson threats after its Catholic owners told a reporter that, while they would gladly serve gays in their restaurant, they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality