RECORD Winter 2018

(PDF version available here)

Justin Lee founded and, for some 16 years, led the evangelical Gay Christian Network in support of biblically-serious Christians in faithfully living their lives as same-sex attracted persons, whether in a monogamous partnership or in celibacy.

But, the GCN Board suddenly announced: “Justin and the Board have come to realize they have differing perspectives”.  In a joint announcement, it was stated: “Due to irreconcilable differences about the direction and future of the organization, Justin Lee and the GCN Board of Directors have agreed to his amicable separation from the organization.  Justin Lee will no longer serve as the executive director of GCN.”

Both parties are legally bound to an agreement of non-disclosure, so Justin could not go into details about the matter though he’s told his many supporters and friends: “I can only tell you that I am, of course, crushed and would appreciate your prayers.”

Justin has now founded Nuance Ministries, a non-profit ministry “dedicated to using education and gracious dialogue to change anti-LBGT attitudes in Christian communities.” His new ministry is based on the same concerns he’s had all along, the same biblical principles outlined in his 2012 book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate and his next book, Talking Across the Divide. Check this out at nuanceministries.com.

The 31st Annual Evangelicals Concerned Presidents Day Bible Study Weekend will be, as always, up at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in Pennsylvania’s eastern mountains. But due to deep snow in recent winters at The Kirkridge Lodge atop the mountain, we’ll be meeting this time at a lower elevation – at The Kirkridge Farmhouse.  The dates are: Saturday afternoon, February 17 through Monday lunch, February 19, 2018.

The 76th Evangelicals Concerned Summer ConnECtion will be in the Pennsylvania mountains at Kirkridge, the weekend of June 1 – 3, 2018 (Friday afternoon through Sunday lunch). EC’s founder will again keynote the ConnECtion and our guest keynoters will be Holly Chaisson, Houghton College Newspaper Editor and Alumna, and Matt Carden, Attorney & Christian Higher Ed Consultant.

The 16th Annual Evangelicals Concerned Fall Festival will be held on Columbus Day weekend. Again, we’ll be meeting at Ocean Grove on Jersey’s shore.  Besides preaching, EC’s founder will lecture on our centennial honorees, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Billy Graham.  As usual, there’ll be displays of our honorees’ autographica and mementoes.

Elder LGBTQI religious activists met in St. Louis in the fall to reminisce over early days in MCC and mainline denominational caucuses and to meet with younger queer activists. But several from those early years have died and others were not well enough to travel.  Some now see themselves as “post-christian”.  Most are “progressives” involved in “interfaith” approaches, “trans-faith”, “multi-tradition, multiracial, multi-gender” and contemporary schemes of “intersectionality”.

Lesbian feminist theologian Mary Hunt wrapped it up this way: “Key to the discussion was what the next generation of folks plan to do to continue the work, on their terms in these complicated times.”  She envisions: “There can now be prodigious efforts by people from a range of genders and sexualities to eradicate racism and white supremacy, economic injustice, war, and ecocide.”

Since the early ‘60s, in graduate school and in the evangelical IVCF, EC’s founder has been fully supportive of same-sex couples, in part, on the basis of the Gospel of God’s free grace.  So, he declined to attend this St. Louis event.  EC is not, and never has been, an agent of the idolatrous Religious Right or the idolatrous Religious Left.  The first three syllables in Evangelicals Concerned hark back to the Gospel itself, the Good News of the Christ of the cross.  But this has always been a stumbling block or foolishness to so many people, when, in reality, it’s the power and wisdom of God. (I Cor 1:23f)

“LGBT Americans are far less likely to identify with any religious group than the public as a whole.” This is a finding of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), based in a survey of over 101,000 people in all 50 states. Given religionist opposition to homosexuality, the finding isn’t strange.  Nearly half (46 percent) of the LGBT Americans surveyed are not religiously affiliated – twice the number of Americans in general (24 percent) who have no religious affiliation.  Six percent of these LGBT Americans are white evangelical Protestant and eight percent are white mainline Protestant.  Six percent are white Catholics and six percent are black Protestants.  Five percent are Hispanic Catholics and three percent are Hispanic Protestants.

“Evangelicals, the last holdouts on gay marriage.” This was an odd headline in the conservative Washington Times.  Online opinion editor Cheryl K. Chumley asserts: “Resistance and opposition to same-sex marriage has been crumbling among Americans – save for one specific segment of society that’s proving the last wall to even wider acceptance: Evangelicals.”

But actually, the “one specific segment of society that’s proving the last wall to even wider acceptance” of same-sex marriage is America’s Muslim community – not to mention Muslim populations in Muslim dominated countries around the world.  And then, of course, there’s that queer activist “anti-assimilationist” movement that’s opposed to same-sex marriage.

Chumley notes that evangelical resistance “is not entirely unexpected. But”, says she, “It is uncomfortable. It puts those of most serious faith in a heated spotlight that can be used by the left to showcase the evangelical Christian crowd as discriminatory, as hate-filled, as antithetical to the core values of America.”

Chumley is clearly unaware of the fact that, for almost half a century, major evangelical leaders have been supporting same-sex couples.  Every keynoter at EC conferences has endorsed same-sex couples.  They’ve included major evangelical scholars and bestselling authors such as EC keynoters Rosalind Rinker, Charlie Shedd, Nancy Hardesty, Letha Scanzoni, et al. Christianity Today, in 2006, rated those four evangelicals as among the very most influential evangelical authors in CT’s first half-century. CT ranked Rinker’s Prayer: Conversing with God in first place among all evangelical books.  Among other major evangelical leaders who’ve supported and/or keynoted EC conferences: Robert G. Rayburn, Eugenia Price, Walden Howard, Walt Hearn, Chuck Smith Jr., Fisher Humphreys, Lewis B. Smedes, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Cynthia Clawson, Ken Medema, Kay Lindskoog, Stanley Rock, John F. Alexander, Val Clear, Chip and Nancy Miller, Jack Rogers, Jim Rayburn III, Roy Clements, Bob Wennberg, Donald Dayton, Todd Komarnicki, and many others.  They’ve been on the faculties at Covenant Seminary, Trinity Evangelical, Calvin College, Hope and Western Seminary, Anderson, Westmont, Wheaton, Bob Jones, Fuller, Samford, Beeson Divinity, Messiah, Nyack, Asbury, Eastern Baptist, etc., and have been in highest positions of leadership in IVCF, Campus Crusade, Navigators, Youth for Christ, Young Life, etc.

Ignorant of the history, Chumley erroneously forecasts: “Standing strong on this point [against same-sex marriage] is not only going to prove lonely.  It’s also going to prove a real test of faith – and conversely, a real opportunity to serve Jesus.”

Tragically, “standing strong … to serve Jesus” against “mixed race” couples animated “conservative” Christians who were still claiming a “most serious faith”, left over from slavery days and Jim Crow, forty years ago, when the 1967 Supreme Court decision, Loving v Virginia, was that day’s Obergefell v Hodges.  In the immediate aftermath of Loving, those who’d been “standing strong … to serve Jesus” against interracial marriage did, indeed, feel “lonely” and “discriminated” against.  They were infuriated. But, after a couple generations, those “of most serious faith” no longer quote Bible verses to find fault with interracial couples and are, to the contrary, quite embarrassed that their Christian grandparents opposed it.

The UK Evangelical Alliance remembers Gordon Landreth, its late leader, as “a bridge-builder”. Forty years ago, Landreth was one of six evangelicals – three heterosexuals, three homosexuals – who met to discuss same-sex issues.  They reached “no complete unanimity”, but the heterosexuals “admitted the possibility of concluding that Scripture did not oppose committed and lasting homosexual friendship” yet believed that “acts” were “forbidden”.  Homosexual members believed that, “such acts, within a stable and permanent ‘gay’ relationship were not a contradiction of the biblical teaching.”  All six agreed that “homosexuals had been wrongly feared, ostracized and ignored in most Christian congregations [and that Christians] should be prepared to welcome and accept them and to offer them pastoral and spiritual care alongside other members and to help build bridges to the ‘gay’ community in order to remove the anguish, isolation and misunderstanding so many homosexuals feel.”  Their report was published in The Third Way: Towards a Biblical World View, 29 December 1977.  This periodical was rooted in the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization.

“‘Transfeminism’ offers students the opportunity to explore the intersection of ‘trans and feminist studies’ and to ‘explore feminist perspectives within trans studies – such as intersectionality – and consider the contours and legacy of feminist transphobia’.” This is the mouthful of description of just one of the 345 courses on “diversity and social justice” on offer at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Other courses discuss “anti-assimilationist” theory, e.g., “queers” opposed to marriage equality, and “radical Queer activists and activism as a way to open up discussion about new social discourses and space, and as a way to critique the current state of Queer community and politics.”

Thanks to the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, The Museum of the Bible has opened in Washington, DC. “America’s LGBT News Source”, The Washington Blade, happily reports that, as “the team behind [The Museum of the Bible] said all along, they ‘wouldn’t mention homosexuality, abortion or any other political commentary’ and they’ve stayed true to their word.”  Says The Blade: “The scope alone is impressive.”  It’s a 430,000 sq. ft. educational display of the Bible’s history and impact on the world.

 

Every night, the colors of the rainbow flood Noah’s Ark, i.e., Ken Ham’s version of Noah’s Ark. It’s in Kentucky, home of his museum promoting his notion of six, 24-hour days of creation, 6,000 years ago.  Ham says it’s time to take back ownership of God’s rainbow that’s been grabbed by “the gay agenda”. USA Today reports: Ham has now “made a lot of gay people happy” with his new nightly lighting display. 

Southern Baptists’ LifeWay stores already had dropped Sho Baraka’s Hip-Hop album because of the black artist’s soul-confessional reference to his penis.  I was an insecure boy who just thought he was a genius / But always pissed off, that’s because I thought with my penis.” This was too much for LifeWay to handle, though it had praised the rapper’s previous album as “saturated in a Gospel worldview.”  His use of the term, “penis”, even in his humble confession, was over the line for Southern Baptist marketers.

Four decades ago the old Moody Monthly magazine airbrushed Adam’s penis right out of a photo of Michelangelo’s painting of God’s creating Adam.  And though the Moody Bible Institute held to a literal Adam, without a literal mother, Moody Monthly left Adam’s navel in place.  His penis, however, was removed, even though he’d been called of God to be “fruitful and multiply”.

Restored Hope is not to be confused with Renewed Hope.  Restored Hope promises an “ex-gay” makeover.  Renewed Hope is makeup that comes in a jar.  But each of them merely covers up what’s still there underneath that’s not supposed to show.

Restored Hope is a leftover “ex-gay” effort to pick up the pieces after the Exodus “ex-gay” network crashed in disgrace and defeat.  Restored Hope is led by the “ex-lesbian” ex-wife of the ex-“ex-gay” leader, John Paulk.  He’d headed Focus on the Family’s “ex-gay” office and held top leadership in Exodus until he finally admitted, with many sincere apologies, that he’d never become heterosexual and that he’s always remained sexually attracted only to men.

Just prior to the 2017 conference of Restored Hope, its main keynoter – a “same-sex struggler”, pastor and author of a book promoting “ex-gay” promises – was cancelled.

Robert A. J. Gagnon is an advocate for Restored Hope, against what he sneers is “the homosexualist agenda”.  He’s also a signatory of the recent antigay Nashville Statement (cf. EC’s Record, Fall 2017)  He’s now resigned from his teaching position at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  His 2001 antigay book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, was critiqued by Ralph Blair in EC’s Review, Vol. 27, No 4, Fall 2002.

Charisma magazine took note of the recent death of the “Gomer Pyle” comedian and talented baritone, Jim Nabors. This Pentecostal periodical cited a report that, after a long illness and his latest hospital tests, Nabors had “asked to be released to go home, his husband told the newspaper”. At the mention of this devout Christian’s “husband” some Charisma readers launched into a full-scale attack.  “A tragedy that a so-called Christian magazine appears to be glorifying this depraved man”.  Another cursed: “He’s in Hell!”  But another reader said: “Oh stop it.  Nabors and his husband were together for about 40 years.  Beautiful!”  And another reader exclaimed praise: “Oh blood and water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a font of mercy for the soul of Jim Nabors.  I trust you. Amen.”

Born in little Sylacauga, Alabama, 87 years ago, Nabors grew up singing in a country church.  Of course, from childhood, he’d known of his unasked-for same-sex attraction. But his coming to terms with it wasn’t easy, growing up among Segregationist “Christians”.  Over the years, Nabors’ beautiful renditions of Gospel songs and Christmas carols inspired millions.

Marriage for Australia’s same-sex couples became legal in December and weddings commenced in early January 2018. Over 60 percent of Australians voted for marriage equality.  Among Australian Christians, 54 percent voted in favor of marriage equality. The major opposition came from the heavily Muslim districts where, as expected, very large majorities voted against marriage equality.  But only four members of the 150-seat House of Representatives were against the marriage equality bill, so it passed easily.

A Muslim imam is preaching that Australia’s acceptance of gay marriage is leading to “sex with animals, sex with children, incest and all other kinds of filth.” Nassim Abdi, a Sunni Muslim, preaches at a mosque in the Sydney suburb of Auburn, which is 43 percent Muslim.

He says that Sharia Law is very clear: “Homosexuality is worse than adultery.”  In his sermon, he ranted: “A man and a man or a woman and a woman, this is an unnatural act and things that are not natural are far worse sin”.  He remembers a time when he “wasn’t allowed to have even feminine tendencies.”  He relishes that, if a non-Muslim wore an earring in the right ear, “This was a sign that he was a homosexual and this person would be beaten.”

Self-styled “Queer Anti-Assimilationist” activists in the UK don’t want same-sex marriage for themselves or anyone else. Evidently ignorant of the fact that marriage is one of the few common factors that contribute to folks’ wellbeing, economically, socially and otherwise, these “anti-assimilationist” postmodernists push the rhetoric that, marriage is “a central institution of anti-queer, anti-women, and anti-child violence.”  One woman among these “anti-assimilationists” complains: “Marriage is tacky, outdated and oppressive.”  She and a co-activist, who calls herself “they”, warn that marriage is “a way to make queer people conform to white middle-class norms”.

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled against a Christian couple that lost its bakeshop over a lawsuit brought by a lesbian couple.  The Court ruled that the bakers must pay $135,000 to the lesbians who claim that they were “mentally raped” when their order for a wedding cake was declined.  In Court filings, the lesbians alleged that they suffered depression, hysteria, impaired digestion, nervous appetite, weight gain, and mental anguish.

First Liberty, a major religious liberty law firm, says the ruling means that the bakers “are not entitled to the Constitution’s promise of religious liberty and free speech”.  The Court denied that, “the state targeted them for enforcement because of their religious beliefs.”  First Liberty may appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.

The US Supreme Court has heard arguments in the case of a Christian baker in Colorado who says he could not, in good conscience, bake and decorate a gay wedding cake, though he’d gladly bake and dedicate cakes and other pastries for any gay customers.  The Supreme Court’s decision is expected in late spring.

Andrew Sullivan, veteran gay activist and marriage equality proponent, says: “It was a prudential mistake to sue the baker. Live and let live would have been a far better response.”  Sullivan points out, in New York magazine: “The baker’s religious convictions are not trivial or obviously in bad faith, which means to say he is not just suddenly citing them solely when it comes to catering to gays.  His fundamentalism makes him refuse to make even Halloween cakes, for Pete’s sake. More to the point, he has said he would provide any form of custom-designed cakes for gay couples — a birthday cake, for example — except for one designed for a specific celebration that he has religious objections to.  And those religious convictions cannot be dismissed as arbitrary (even if you find them absurd).”  Sullivan has called cases like the one against this baker, “repellent” and “anathema”, and he adds: “It seems grotesquely disingenuous now for the marriage-equality movement to bait and switch on that core ‘live and let live’ argument.”

Conservative Christian columnist Cal Thomas said the Christian baker should have baked the gay wedding cake. That was in another case – 3 years ago, in Oregon.  Back in the 1980s, Thomas was the vice-president of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority.

In 2014, he explained: “The Christian bakers who refused to bake the cake might have used their opportunity to tell the gay couple about the God who loves them more than they could ever love each other. That would have been a proper – and biblical – exercise of their faith and religious freedom under the First Amendment’s free speech clause.”

Other evangelicals have said that, since Jesus called followers to do good to everyone, even to one’s enemies, is it too much to ask a Christian baker to bake a gay wedding cake even if he or she doesn’t personally approve of the gay marriage?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sending a Justice Department federal hate crimes lawyer to assist the prosecution in the case of the murder of a black 16-year-old transgender student in Iowa. Says Sessions: “We have and will continue to enforce hate-crime laws aggressively and appropriately where transgendered individuals are victims.”  Devin O’Malley of the Justice Department told the New York Times: “This is just one example of the Attorney General’s commitment to enforcing the laws enacted by Congress and to protecting the civil rights of all individuals.”

President Trump has nominated openly gay Richard Grenell to be U.S. Ambassador to Germany. The longest serving U. S. spokesperson at the United Nations, Grenell has been an advisor to four U.S. Ambassadors.  He’s a graduate of Evangel University and Harvard Law School. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) sees the partisan delay to confirm Grenell’s appointment as a part of a “collective foot-dragging on all the ambassadors and executive nominations”, and it’s detrimental to U.S. foreign interests.

Breitbart News’ “Top 6 LGBT Icons of 2017” ranks Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner as No. 1. She and fellow Special Agents David Bailey and Henry Cabrera, shot the political activist who opened fire at a Congressional baseball practice. Among those he’d wounded and critically injured was Rep. Steve Scalise.  Sen. Rand Paul, who was on the field during the attack, said: “Without them, it would have been a massacre.”

President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, was honored in Breitbart’s No. 2 position.  The other four were: Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, at No. 3; actor Anthony Rapp, who identified a long list of Hollywood’s sex abusers, at No. 4; Chadwick Moore, fired from the LGBT’s Advocate after he come out as a conservative, at No. 5; and, at No. 6, Dave Rubin, former left-wing Young Turks commentator, whose videos explain how the Left moved from classical liberalism to authoritarian progressivism.

Germany’s LGBT communities fear the increase in the influx of antigay Muslims.  Many see that this, in part, explains the victories of Germany’s far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in the Bundestag.  A lesbian, who with her partner rears their two children, leads the AfD.  German gay men and lesbians are realizing that the growing numbers of Muslims, with their violent opposition to homosexuality, gays and lesbians, pose deadly threats.  In fact, all across Europe, a higher percentage of gays, as over against heterosexuals, now supports far-right political parties.  This doesn’t match the current tendency in the U.S.

It’s “too dangerous for gay people to live openly” in Germany these days. This is the conclusion of yet another gay victim of Muslim immigrants’ antigay violence.  Even though police identified the attackers in this man’s case, they were never arrested and they later fled to Syria.  Officials were too politically correct to cooperate with the victim.  He and his partner now carry pepper spray and he says officials need to “talk openly about the problem. But they don’t.”

Meanwhile, a recent study by Zurich University of Applied Sciences finds that migrant young men from North Africa, Afghanistan and Syria perpetrate the biggest crime problems in Germany today.

Turkey bans a German-government-sponsored LGBT film festival after President Erdogan’s crackdown on LGBT pride parades and the country’s increasing imposition of the Islamist social agenda.  It was explained that these films would be contrary to the Muslim country’s “social sensitivities” and could invite terrorism in reaction.

Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation has ordered a ban on all LGBT support on media outlets. In Egypt’s Muslim-dominated culture, homosexuality is considered a “shameful disease”.  Therefore, “Egyptian media outlets should highlight the hazards” of homosexuality.  Though some would try to “categorize the LGBT presence as a kind of human rights, this is not real, as homosexuality contradicts with humanity and religions,” according to this official governmental decree.

She’s accused of having waved a rainbow flag at a concert in Egypt. This 28-year-old now could face a life sentence in an Egyptian prison if found guilty of “promoting sexual deviancy” in this Muslim country.  She’s already been imprisoned and beaten by other inmates.

Tanzanian police in Mwanza arrested one woman and are looking for the other – after they posted their kiss on social media. The plan, “for the betterment of the generations”, is to, “eliminate the entire chain of people involved or supporting homosexuality”, reports the AP.  Jail terms of up to life are prescribed for homosexuality.

“I’m gay, gay, gay, gay. Can we please move on now and learn what that means?”  That’s what MRSHLL [Marshall Bang], a rising R&B artist and second-generation Korean American, said to his mother who hasn’t spoken to him in the months since he came out publicly as gay. She is a minister and his father is a deacon in a conservative megachurch in Southern California.  “I adore my mother.  She’s an incredible, strong woman, but she and my dad don’t have the context for what it means to be gay.  They come from a community that doesn’t talk or want to know about this.  But I get where they’re coming from and I’m going to continue to have conversations and try to get through”.

Around 10,000 South Koreans paraded in support of LGBT rights in Seoul this summer while hundreds of others, claiming to be Christians, yelled at them, calling homosexuality a sin and telling them to “return to Jesus”.  This year, for the first time in the parade’s history, Korea’s largest Buddhist sect took part in the festivities.  In 2000, at the first parade, only 50 people participated.

Under North Korea’s communist dictatorship and widespread misery, hunger, poverty and oppression, homosexuality is called “American vice” and, of course, a gay parade is unthinkable.

Jerusalem held its 16th annual Gay Pride parade this summer.  Some 20,000 people attended the festivities.  Israel remains the only gay-affirming nation in the Middle East, or, as put by Outward magazine: “Israel is an oasis in an otherwise barren Middle East for LGBT rights”.  Jewish, Muslim and Christian LGBT folks all shared their personal stories during celebrations in Jerusalem.

Yet the Queer Left and the Religious Left in the U.S. align with pro-Palestinian, anti-Semitic BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) against Israel.  They denigrate Israel’s LGBT support as “pink-washing”.  Meanwhile, terror and death faced daily by LGBT folks in the Palestinian territories and in all Islamic countries is rationalized away by the Left.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov calls homosexuals “devils”. This isn’t strange, given that 95 percent of Chechens are Muslim.  The Quran calls for the death penalty for homosexuals.  While being interviewed on HBO, Kadyrov was asked about the brutal imprisonment and torture of Chechen homosexuals.  Indignantly, he denied that there are any homosexuals in Chechnya and that, if there were any, they should be sent to Canada.  Then he barked, “Praise be to Allah!”

Why do Muslims in the West minimize or deny Islam’s violence against gays? Ali Kadri of the Islamic Council of Queensland, Australia, answers this question.  He says: “We are afraid if we come out with our opinion that the left side may abandon us.”

It’s about postmodern politically correct sensitivity, unheard of in any Muslim-run country.  This was in evidence at the 2017 Vancouver Gay Pride Parade where a gay Iranian’s anti-Sharia float was forbidden as “offensive” – as if Vancouver’s Left knows more about the deadly threat of Sharia’s homophobic violence than does a gay Iranian.

More than half – 830 – of America’s 1,538 hate crimes involving religion in 2016 targeted JewsYet headlines commonly focus on crimes allegedly against Muslims – victims of less than 25 percent of hate crimes.  Hate crimes against gay men totaled 765. These are the latest FBI statistics.

The Senate of Haiti has passed a bill that prohibits marriage for same-sex couples. Haiti also prohibits all pro-gay propaganda. Anyone who supports same-sex marriage risks fines and 3-years imprisonment in this Caribbean nation that has consistently been listed as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Mennonites in 14 congregations in the Dominican Republic will affiliate with a sixth of all American Mennonites who are leaving the Mennonite Church (USA) over issues of homosexuality. MC(USA) has been taking more affirming positions on homosexuality than many of the more conservative Mennonites, here and elsewhere, wish to tolerate.

Twenty-one years ago, an angry Jehovah’s Witness barred his daughter from her senior prom so as to keep her from “worldly” dancing with a boy.   Yet, even then, she’d long realized she was sexually attracted only to girls. Now at 39, after a failed marriage with a man, and three children, she and another woman attended Houston Gay Prom, an event for those who, before coming out of the closet, missed their own senior prom.  Some 250 others in the same situation attended this substitute “senior prom” and the venue couldn’t accommodate all who’d wanted to attend.

A Seventh-day Adventist pastor comes out as bisexual and resigns over her “complete disagreement with the Adventist Church on its teachings on LGBT people.”  She pastored her Arizona congregation for about a year.  She earned her M. Div. degree from SDA’s Andrews University in 2012 and did church-planting in SDA’s Carolina Conference.  On resigning, she said: “It’s wonderful to finally be able to say, ‘This is who I am’.

More than 400 Seventh-day Adventist delegates from some 60 countries met in 2017 in Budapest for a global conference on LGBT issues.  Discussants were concerned that, “coming to terms with one’s sexual identity is a particularly complex process for Christian LGBT youth, many of whom are at high risk for negative outcomes.”  Seventh-day Adventists, for the most part, believe that, “sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman.”

To avoid homosexual behavior between Mormon missionaries, a 1981 LDS manual banned these young men from sharing beds and dressing or bathing in front of each other.  Recently, MormonLeaks leaked the manual to the general public.

Back in 1975, LDS Social Services workers raised this matter with Ralph Blair during his Homosexual Counseling Journal’s all-day training conference in Salt Lake City.  Blair explained that what the LDS was dealing with among some of their young men was, no doubt, situational same-sex behavior rather than same-sex orientation.  He noted that these young men were lonely, far away from home base for the first time in their lives and were having doors slammed in their faces on a daily basis.  He also argued against LDS efforts aimed at trying to turn same-sex oriented persons into heterosexuals.

MormonLeaks founder Ryan McKight, now a former Mormon, tells Newsweek: “If you were to track the rhetoric coming from the top leadership you will see somewhat a shift in their views”, though he says, “the church has never come out and said, ‘Throw away this manual; it is no longer relevant.”

John Dehlin, a Mormon counselor acknowledges that the church “has significantly softened its position on the origins of same-sexuality, and no longer overtly encourages reparative or conversion therapy.”

An Apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS now says that all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons should be able to “live the lifestyle they choose openly without fear of retaliation or ostracism”.  This Mormon leader, Quentin L. Cook, says they should be “free from discrimination in employment, housing and traditional places of public accommodation”.  He made these remarks while speaking at the Seymour Institute Seminar on Religious Freedom at Princeton Theological Seminary.

A Mormon instructor of political science was fired for saying homosexuality is not a sin. She taught at the Idaho campus of Brigham Young University.  Her statement was written in a private Facebook post.  Ruthie Robertson had written: “This is my official announcement and declaration that I believe heterosexuality and homosexuality are both natural and neither is sinful. I will never support the phrase ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ because that ‘sin’ is part of who that person is.”

The Girls Scouts of the USA accused the Boy Scouts of America of a “covert campaign to recruit girls into programs run by the Boy Scouts.”  The alleged purpose of this “overreach” was said to be about boosting the BSA’s declining numbers and appealing to the millennial parents.  A GSUSA spokesperson called inclusion of girls in the Boy Scouts “a potentially dangerous and bad idea” and said, “We have made repeated efforts to engage with them and talk about the implications.”

In early October, The Boy Scouts of America made it official.  In the midst of declining membership, the BSA will begin admitting girls to the Cub Scouts with the intension that they will then move on to Eagle Scout ranking.

“Why Can’t My Famous Gender Nonconforming Friends Get Laid?” This is the allegedly puzzling title of an article in Vice, a Canadian magazine that focuses on the arts and culture.  Writer Meredith Talusan, who “presents” as female, though is “gender non-conforming”, wonders why friends with vast social celebrity status, “femme non-binary icons” Jacob Tobia and Alok Vaid-Menon, “presenting” with beard stubble and dressed in skirts, heels and makeup, can’t find anyone for sex – let alone a date.

Emerson College is trying to get rid of homosexuals. Well, actually, it’s trying to get rid of the word, “homosexuals” – in what the College administrators call their “ongoing engagement with diversity” and in compliance with what they call its “framework of inclusive excellence”.  So, to comply with diversity and inclusivity, they are requiring that the word, “homosexual” be censored.

And Emerson’s new rules also involve the use of personal pronouns: “Respect a person’s chosen personal pronoun. Some transgender and gender-expansive people identify as he, she, or ze but some may identify as both male and female or neither.”  And, according to the new rules, any individual may demand to be called, “they”

“Queering the Bible” is a one-credit course at Swarthmore College.  It’s on “queer and trans readings of biblical texts”.  This anachronistic hermeneutic hopelessly promises that: “By reading the Bible with the methods of queer and trans theoretical approaches, this class destabilizes long held assumptions about what the Bible – and religion – says about gender and sexuality.”

Another Swarthmore course is, “Queering God”.  Curiosity may be whetted with the promise: “The God of the Bible and later Jewish and Christian literature is distinctively masculine, definitely male.  Or is He?”  The course description trips over stereotypes and, in so doing, reinforces them, albeit inadvertently: “If we can point out places in traditional writings where God is nurturing, forgiving, and loving, does that mean that God is feminine, or female?”

Swarthmore doesn’t offer courses on “Queering the Koran” or “Queering Allah” – and therein, inadvertently reinforces un-p.c. facts of deadly threat it won’t dare admit.

AND FINALLY

Christians should pray that Britain’s little Prince George is gay. So says the gay rector of Glasgow’s St. Mary’s Scottish Episcopal Cathedral, the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth. He claims: “It would be the fastest way” to force the Church of England into supporting same-sex marriage.  He urged prayers “for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman.”

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