Daily Archives: July 11, 2015

(Wash Post) Sarah Pulliam Bailey–Is polygamy next in the marriage debate?

The Supreme Court’s decision in June that legalized same-sex marriage across the country has unleashed a renewed debate over polygamy, leaving some to wonder why marriage should be considered between just two persons.

The first legal challenge involving polygamy came last week after a man from Montana said the Supreme Court’s decision inspired him to apply for a marriage license so he can legally marry a second woman. Nathan Collier, who was featured on the reality television show “Sister Wives,” said he will sue the state if it denies him the right to enter into a plural marriage.

“It’s about marriage equality,” Collier told the Associated Press. “You can’t have this without polygamy.” A county civil litigator Kevin Gillen said he was reviewing Montana’s bigamy laws and expected to send a formal response to Collier by this week.

Read it all.

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

Gallup–In U.S., 47% Say Legal Marijuana Will Make Roads Less Safe

As some U.S. states have legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, 30% of Americans say legalization will make driving in those states a lot less safe. Another 17% expect it to make driving a little less safe. Half of Americans, however, say it will not make much of a difference.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Psychology, Sociology, Travel

(Barna) Christians React to the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage: 9 Key Findings

1. Americans remain deeply divided on the issue.
While there are plenty of demographic groups that lean heavily in one direction or the other, the general population remains divided in their support of legal same-sex marriage. About half of the general population supports the recent Supreme Court decision (49%). Just over four in 10 Americans disagree with the decision (43%) and 7 percent say they don’t know how they feel about it. Americans are split, as well, on whether legalized same-sex marriage will have a positive (37%) or negative impact (40%) on society. Divisions also emerge when it comes to whether legalizing same-sex marriage is morally right (52%) or morally wrong (43%). And similar proportions of Americans believe same-sex marriage is protected by the Constitution (52%) or say it is unconstitutional (38%).

2. However, most agree that legal same-sex marriage was inevitable.
Americans may be divided on how they feel about the decision, but most perceived the decision to be only a matter of time. Six in 10 Americans say legalization was an inevitability (62%). Evangelicals*””a group Barna defines according to their stance on a number of theological beliefs, outlined below””remain an exception: Just three in 10 say same-sex marriage was a foregone conclusion (31%), half that of the general population. Interestingly, a slim majority of Americans reject the idea that the same-sex marriage movement could accurately be compared to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s (55%).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sociology

(Yourmomhasablog) It’s Okay for Kids to be Bored During Church

Every Sunday my regular front row at church is filled with little girls (and Sawyer). I’m not really sure why these sweet little gals like sitting on the front row during worship, but I’m glad they do. They all bring their little notebooks and pens, and they draw during the sermon.

No one is playing on iPads or cell phones. No one is sleeping. No one is eating or drinking. There isn’t a single entertaining thing happening (except for my husband’s brilliant and lively sermons), but still they come to me week after week and sit there.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Graham Tomlin–A Christian understanding of priestly leadership has much to offer the secular world

Priestly leaders do not dominate: they mediate. By entering into the experience of others, they create and forge community by reconciling what would otherwise be at loggerheads, or separated. They make connections between unlikely people and institutions, and hold together communities that might other- wise break apart in disunity and division.

Priestly leaders do not placate, they perfect. Rather than aim to keep everyone happy, they are fiercely dedicated, not to the furtherance of their own careers, but to the nurture, growth and development of those in their care, and the institutions they are called to preserve and develop, even when that means making tough and unpopular decisions. They keep their eye on the goal, the big picture, the ultimate purpose of all things.

Finally, the purpose of their work is not self-glorification, but offering. They work hard, not out of some secular work ethic, but because they remember that the goal of their work as leaders is not ultimately the success of their organisation, the year-end profit margin, or even the number of people affected, but to serve a much greater and higher goal: the creation of something good, life-giving, and worth while ”” an offering worthy of God the Creator himself.

Read it all from the Church Times.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Wash. Post) D.C. could be the next place to legalize assisted suicide

The nation’s capital could be on track to join those U.S. jurisdictions where terminally ill patients can legally seek to end their lives with medication prescribed by physicians.

D.C. lawmakers on Friday held a hearing on the Death With Dignity Act of 2015, which would authorize doctors to prescribe lethal medication to patients who have been given six months or less to live and wish to die on their own terms.

The bill, introduced by ­D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), is modeled on the assisted-suicide law in Oregon, where more than 850 terminally ill patients have taken their lives in the 18 years since the statute was passed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, City Government, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

Canon Chris Sugden: Senior Church Leadership ”“ a resource for reflection

This Report, (GS1999B) available on the Church of England website, is the subject of a debate at the forthcoming General Synod and is very welcome. I would like to draw together a particularly timely strand in the report.

Paragraph 43 tells us bishops will

“be teachers, whose task it is to ”˜uphold sound and wholesome doctrine, and to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange opinions’ (C 18) so as to ”˜hand on entire’ the Christian faith (Ordinal) ”“ to ensure, including by example, the vitality of proclamation and the richness of teaching and formation; “
What this paper helpfully exposes is the error of the theologically entrepreneurial and innovative bishop and the erroneous suggestion that their opinions over against the tradition of Jesus and the settled teaching of the church might be prophetic.

Read it all – the report is being debated on Saturday July 11th by General Synod

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Benedict of Nursia

Almighty and everlasting God, whose precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of thy servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord’s service; let thine ears be open unto our prayers; and prosper with thy blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to begin the Day from the Pastor's Prayer Book

O Lord my God, for life and reason, nurture, preservation, guidance, education; for Thy gifts of grace and nature, for Thy calling, recalling, manifold recalling me again and again; for Thy forbearance, long-suffering, and long long-suffering toward me, even until now; for all from whom I have received any good or help; for the use of Thy present good things; for Thy promise, and my hope, of good things to come; for all these things, and for all other, which I know not, manifest or secret, remembered or forgotten by me, I praise Thee, I bless Thee, I give Thee thanks, all the days of my life. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits to me? Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand. Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God. They will collapse and fall; but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call.

–Psalm 20:6-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You mark out my journeys and my resting place and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but you, O Lord, know it altogether. You encompass me behind and before and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go then from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I make the grave my bed, you are there also. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, ”˜Surely the darkness will cover me and the light around me turn to night,’ Even darkness is no darkness with you, the night is as clear as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike.

For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are your works, my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my form, as yet unfinished; already in your book were all my members written, As day by day they were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.

How deep are your counsels to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I count them, they are more in number than the sand, and at the end, I am still in your presence.

O that you would slay the wicked, O God, that the bloodthirsty might depart from me! They speak against you with wicked intent; your enemies take up your name for evil.

Do I not oppose those, O Lord, who oppose you?
Do I not abhor those who rise up against you?
I hate them with a perfect hatred; they have become my own enemies also.
Search me out, O God, and know my heart; try me and examine my thoughts.
See if there is any way of wickedness in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

[Telegraph] John Bingham: Church’s £360,000 budget for retreats to talk about sex

Church of England hosts away-days and retreats in luxury stately homes in bid to break deadlock over homosexuality.
The Church of England is spending over a third of a million pounds [US$558,702.00] on a series of away-days and retreats to talk about sex.

Clergy and lay members are being invited to a series of “facilitated conversations” behind closed doors, aimed at breaking down divisions between different factions over issues such as homosexuality.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, hopes encouraging people to take part in frank face-to-face discussions will help break the deadlock over what has become one of the most toxic issues in the Church.

A similar tactic led to breakthrough over the issue of women bishops which was finally agreed last year after decades of argument.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

(Theopolis Institute) After Obergefell: Ephraim Radner

Third, the Christian Church is now a secondary player in these cultural transformations. She is also intrinsically debased, so intertwined has she become, at least regionally, with larger cultural shifts and declensions. The imperative for renewal, both within the church and in her relationship with surrounding political cultures, is inescapable. Are we in need of new reformation, in line with the reformations of fourth century, the twelfth, the sixteenth, and the nineteenth? If so, we will need to reform in the direction of Christian unity, the lack of which helped to create the very ecclesial incapacities of today.

Finally, we are confronting the long-term of God’s providence. Ecclesial reformation or not, cultures are not changed in an instant, except perhaps through cataclysm (which no one wants, however regular and inevitable it is within the course of human history). We have entered Canaan and been swallowed up before Moloch in the same way that Israel was enveloped by a surrounding religion of idolatrous violence. So we affirm with the Psalmist: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church History, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Supreme Court, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Phil Ashey: How Then Should We Live In Babylon?

While the Jews were in Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzer made an idol ninety feet high and nine feet wide””an idol in the shape of a giant “I” (Daniel 3:1) What an appropriate biblical image for the challenge placed upon us by the new regime: to bow down before the almighty “I” of self. You know the rest of the story in Daniel 3. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not bow down to that idol, and though they were cast by the authorities into the fire, the only thing they lost were the ropes that bound them (Dan. 3:25-27) Like them, we cannot bow down to the almighty “I” of the new regime””however lonely that stance may be. As a church, we must respectfully, lovingly, truthfully but adamantly state that our identity is not in our autonomy or individual choices. Our identity lies in Jesus Christ and in him alone (see Ephesians 1).

With that in mind, how should we then live in Babylon ”“ as Jesus would if he were in our shoes?

Read it all

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sexuality