Archive for the ‘gay marriage’ Tag

Make Your Choice Today!   Leave a comment

I wasn’t going to pursue Friday’s SCOTUS decision, but you’ve forced me to it —

Christians, why are you shocked that the secular temple has betrayed God’s law? Jesus told us that the world would hate us and reject what we believe. Don’t be shocked that it’s doing what Jesus predicted!

Did you honestly believe that you would never have to choose between the world and God? There was a time in this country when a majority of the people claimed a cultural Christianity that generally accepted Biblical principles as a good way of conducting society. Those were good times for Christians because we could be in the world and of it and not have to choose . That time is gone!

Get over it!

The world believes it has won a victory. “Love won.” Christians know the world is foolish and that sex is not love. God is still on His throne and sin is still sin. Despite what the priests of the secular temple have decided, Christians are still called to flee sexual immorality. Choose you this day whom you will serve.

 

The civil disobedience this decision is going to give rise to will be an opportunity for Christians to explain why we are willing to give up businesses, social standing, our wealth and maybe even our freedom to obey a standard the world mocks. That doesn’t mean we’re going to “win” those secular arguments. It merely means we’re going to bear testimony to how God wants us to be different from the world.

In giving that testimony, we become Paul before Caesar’s court, giving a reason for why he didn’t obey Roman law. Did you think you deserved better than what Paul received?

“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first.” (John 15 — Jesus)

A New Marketing Strategy   Leave a comment

The Christian church universal is in trouble in America (and western Europe).

What’s the solution? It would appear that the church needs a new marketing strategy. Which is what the modern-day equivalent of Madison Avenue says is the ticket. Downplay sin and repentance, quit talking about sexual immorality and start talking about what God can do for us. The logic is simple – more and more Americans are embracing homosexuality, same sex-marriage and alternative heterosexual relationships. So long as churches remain the face of opposition to gay marriage, those churches will shrink into irrelevancy when gay marriage is inevitably accepted throughout the culture.

There’s two problems with that strategy, however.

God didn’t approve the ad campaign. And, that’s really the biggest one. Second …

Every major American denomination that has taken steps toward liberalization on sexual issues has seen a sharp decline in membership. The evidence so far seems to indicate that affirming homosexuality is a fast track to turning out the lights.

In 2003, Gene Robinson became the first openly gay, noncelibate man to be consecrated as a bishop of the Episcopal Church. At least one dioceses here in Alaska severed ties with the Episcopal Church, part of a trend that eventually created the Anglican Church of North America. Despite that, the Episcopal Church continues to liberalize its sexual teachings. In 2002, there were 2.32 million baptized US members. By 2012, there were only 1.89 million. That’s a decline of 18%. Attendance has fallen even more sharply, by about 24% while baptisms have fallen 40% and marriage have fallen 50%.

Well, people are bailing on churches all over, right? What’s the big deal? The Anglican Church of North America, created in rejection to liberalization in the Episcopal Church, has seen its membership RISE by 13%. Its Sunday attendance is up by 16% in the past five years. Since 2009, the ACNA planted 488 new congregations while the Episcopal Church planted four.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) formed in 1987. For most of its history, gay men and women were permitted as pastors so long as they remained celibate. In 2009, ordination was extended to gays in “committed monogamous relationships” and churches were allowed to “recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”

From 1987 to 2009, the average decrease in membership was only .062%. Since 2009, membership has declined 5% annually, for a loss of more than 12% of its members in three years. More than 600 congregations have abandoned the denomination, with almost two-thirds joining CONSERVATIVE Lutheran denominations like the North American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Churches in Ministry for Christ.

The United Church of Christ (UCC) has a reputation for unfettered liberalism. The largest UCC congregation in 2008 was pastored by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It was the first US mainline Protestant denomination to support same-sex marriage (2005). UCC had been bleeding members for decades, but it rapidly declined after the gay marriage vote, seeing a 20.5% decline in membership since then. From 1990 to 2004, an average of 39 congregations left UCC annually, but more than 350 congregations departed the denomination from 2004 to 2008.

The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) was flirting with loosening its sexual standards as early as 2006. By 2010, it had done it. In 2006, there were 2.2 million members of PCUSA. That dropped 22.4%  by 2013. In 2011, A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians had been created as an alternative denomination. Over 100,000 members left PCUSA in 2012 alone.

Grim statistics. Things are tough all over in the churches.

Right?

Not exactly. It’s only some churches that are limping. Can you guess which ones?

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