God, Tebow and the NFL

Once upon a time, there was this controversial quarterback.Even his strongest defenders admitted that he was a fiery field general, not a conventional pinpoint passer. He made lots of big plays with his legs, dodging tacklers and creating havoc until he could unload the ball.His throwing motion wasn't much to look at, either. Purists said he brought the ball way too low while winding up to fire it deep.On top of all that, he was devoutly religious and very conservative. He was especially … [Read more...]

Shocking words for Presbyterians

Anyone who attends one of the national church assemblies that dot the calendar every summer knows that they are highly ritualized affairs.Officers will be elected.Political issues will be discussed. Lofty resolutions will be passed. At least one long business session will include a proposal about clergy benefits and salaries.In recent decades, gatherings in the "seven sisters" of mainline Protestantism have also -- to varying degrees -- featured battles over sex. These flocks are, in … [Read more...]

Young Catholics wrestle with truth

In one of the defining works of his historic papacy, Pope John Paul II argued that if people -- believers and nonbelievers alike -- want true freedom and peace, they must accept the reality of "universal and unchanging moral norms.""When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions. ... Before the demands of morality we are all absolutely equal," wrote the pope, in his 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor ("The Splendor of Truth")."In … [Read more...]

Chopping that Anglican timeline

The resolution from the 1979 Episcopal General Convention in Denver inspired a small wave of headlines, even though it simply restated centuries of doctrine about marriage."We reaffirm the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage, marital fidelity and sexual chastity as the standard of Christian sexual morality," it said. "Candidates for ordination are expected to conform to this standard."However, 21 bishops disagreed, publicly stating that gay sexual relationships were "no less a … [Read more...]

Signs along the Methodist trail

Sex, sex, sex. That seemed to be the only thing United Methodists were talking about the year that the Rev. James V. Heidinger II took command at Good News, a national movement for his church's evangelicals.That was in 1981."Every time we turned around we were arguing about sex, and homosexuality in particular," said Heidinger, who retired last week. "Frankly, I was already weary of it and that was a long, long time ago. We wanted to get on to more positive things, like missions and church … [Read more...]

Sex, sin and surveys

It's becoming more and more dangerous for preachers to use the words "sex" and "sin" in the same sentence.Consider this question: Is sex outside of marriage a sin?Say "yes" and millions of believers who are sitting in pews will say "amen." But that same affirmation of centuries of doctrine will offend just as many believers and nonbelievers, giving them an easy excuse to avoid congregations they believe are old fashioned and intolerant."We have to recognize that our historic positions on sexual … [Read more...]

Thou shalt not say ‘adultery’

Journalist Pamela Druckerman didn't think it would be hard to discuss sex issues with Alain Giami of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.After all, he was one of the top sex researchers in a nation known for its freewheeling, laissez faire attitudes about matters of the heart. However, Giami silenced her when she used a dangerous word."What do you call 'infidelity'? I don't know what 'infidelity' is," he said, in what the former Wall Street Journal correspondent later … [Read more...]

Invading Anglican closets

The historic Trinity Episcopal Church offers clear online guidance to those seeking a Blessing of Holy Union in its sanctuary on Boston's Copley Square.The services are based on "A Rite for the Celebration of Commitment to a Life Together" which is used in the Diocese of Massachusetts."A priest may bless a same-sex civil marriage or preside at and bless a same-sex union. ... The same liturgical rite is used," say the guidelines. "In the presence of God and the couple's Christian community, the … [Read more...]


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