Evangelical Christians Hub




Matt Barber Compares Progressives To Murderers, Warns Of Christian Revolt

Ever since he stepped onto the scene, Matt Barber has always been "unhinged" in his rantings, putting him in a position that often makes Brian Brown come off more sensible, which is no mean feat. His latest screed, "The Coming Christian Revolt", takes that unhinged-ness and just rips the door out of the frame. In his opening paragraph, he compares liberal progressives to a sniper in a tower murdering random innocent victims:

Matt BarberFrom behind a smoking sniper rifle high atop his ivory tower peers the secular “progressive.” He surveys his many victims, strewn across the American landscape below and mockingly sneers, “War on Christianity? What war on Christianity?”

He then resumes shooting, all the while insisting that those uncooperative Christians who scatter for cover behind the word of God and the U.S. Constitution somehow suffer from a “persecution complex” (the baker, the photographer, the florist, the innkeeper, the Christian school administrator, etc.).

And it just gets nuttier from there. Logical fallacies are rampant, such as this "No True Scotsman" invocation:

Christians, true Christians – regenerate, Bible-believing Christians who strive their level best to maintain fidelity to the word of God and honor His commands – will not, indeed cannot, participate in, approve of, facilitate or encourage certain behaviors deemed by the Holy Scriptures to be immoral or sinful.

As are flat-out lies:

It is not done from hate. It is not done from bigotry. It is done neither from a position of superiority nor a desire to “impose our beliefs” upon others.

There are comparisons drawn between human behavior and physics - which as we've pointed out before is pseudointellectual claptrap; he aligns himself with the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and even identifies with the civil rights movement as a whole.

Yes, the systemic and institutionalized denigration and oppression of people of color in general, and black men and women in particular, that largely has them relegated to unofficial second class citizen status even to this day is used as a parallel by adherents of the largest religion in Western civilization to being told that they can't enforce their personal beliefs on the populace as a whole.

Then it all ends with the threat of mass resistance from the "persecuted":

While there are those who will give way out of fear, weakness or a desire to conform to the world, there are many others who will not. Christians must peacefully come together, lock arms and redouble our resistance to evil.

Yeah...because religious extremists have done so well protesting peacefully.


Fox News' Todd Starnes: Obama ‘Hell-bent’ on Forcing Christians to Accept ‘Militant’ LGBT Agenda

Todd starnes

Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes has never been a fan of gay rights. After all, the advancement of LGBT civil equality has effectively ruined sports and the Grammys for him and has even led to the ‘religious persecution’ of saintly, anti-gay Christians like Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson.

ObamaAnd so it comes as no surprise that Starnes wasn’t too pleased with President Obama’s executive order barring discrimination against LGBT people employed by federal contractors, calling it the latest sign that the Obama administration is “hell-bent on forcing Christians to assimilate to the militant LGBT agenda”

For his latest column over at Foxnews.com, Starnes gathers quotes from some notable anti-gay talking heads including Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg and First Baptist Church in Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress to reinforce the point made in his comically aweful new book that Obama ultimately “believes gay rights trump everyone else’s rights – including religious rights”

The piece is basically just one big, nutty meltdown, but if you care to read it you can do so here


Politico: Evangelical Support For Gay Marriage On The Rise - VIDEO

Vines

In a lengthy profile published yesterday on Politico, reporter Jim Hinch looks at how evangelical Christians are changing their minds on gay marriage, supported by rather than in spite of the Bible: 

Over the past decade, evangelical support for gay marriage has more than doubled, according to polling by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute. About a quarter of evangelicals now support same-sex unions, the institute has found, with an equal number occupying what researchers at Baylor University last year called the “messy middle” of those who oppose gay marriage on moral grounds but no longer support efforts to outlaw it. The shift is especially visible among young evangelicals under age 35, a near majority of whom now support same-sex marriage. And gay student organizations have recently formed at Christian colleges across the country, including flagship evangelical campuses such as Wheaton College in Illinois and Baylor in Texas. […]

For a branch of Christianity devoted to scriptural interpretation, a debate about gay marriage was bound to contend with what the Bible says on the matter. Sure enough, as the politics of same-sex marriage have changed, a quiet movement to change evangelicals’ very interpretation of the Bible has gained momentum. 

One of the faces of this sea-change is 24 year old Matthew Vines, whose hour-long YouTube sermon on the intersection of Christianity and homosexuality posted in 2012 has since racked up more than 730,000 hits and spurred the creation of his Reformation Project which holds conferences to bring pro-gay rights evangelicals together who want to prove that the Bible does not necessitate a condemnation of gay relationships but actually supports them. 

The shift in attitudes towards gay marriage among evangelicals has also had major political ramifications: 

Just a decade ago, conservative Christians powered an electoral surge that outlawed gay unions in 11 states and, in the view of many political analysts, helped to ensure President George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection. Barely one in 10 evangelicals supported gay marriage, and church leaders like Warren urged their followers to vote against same-sex unions. 

FischerToday, conservative Christian groups and Republican leaders have shied away from campaigning on gay marriage and have instead focused on topics such as “robust religious exemptions.” Anti-gay organizations, such as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), have also felt the financial sting of a waning interest in battling gay marriage from the Evangelical community. 

Still, despite the dramatic shift, the Evangelical community is still home to some of the country’s most anti-gay firebrands like Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer. Said Fischer of the movement towards more pro-gay attitudes among Evangelicals,

“What we are seeing is the impact of this relentless brainwashing by the mainstream media, and it affects people that aren’t thinking clearly or aren’t grounded in a biblical worldview...There are some evangelical leaders who are sounding a very defeatist tone—the battle is over, and we lost and we have to get used to it. That kind of defeatism just has no place in the evangelical community.”

In case you missed it, watch Matthew Vines’s sermon on the Bible and homosexuality, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Politico: Evangelical Support For Gay Marriage On The Rise - VIDEO" »


Grady Smith 'Comes Out' As Christian And Gay, But Won't Act On His Desires: VIDEO

Grady Smith

Former Entertainment Weekly writer Grady Smith put up a blog post in May titled "Coming Out As A Christian" wherein he described living a "closeted" life at his job, fearful of letting slip that he was particularly religious. This would have been courageous if he'd provided any examples of his workplace being hostile to believers in any way - and, you know, if being religious were a social classification that subjected one to institutionalized hate and discrimination reinforced by corporate policies and federal law - but all he provides are imagined hostilities that only existed in his own insecurities.

Last Thursday he posted a follow-up entitled "Coming Out As A Christian (Part 2)" wherein he admits to being a gay Christian. It would be wonderful if the article provided insight on a difficult journey and a reconciliation between two contradictory facets of one's being, but unfortunately it's just gay shame masked in proud acceptance of God's will. This is made evident when Smith states,

Now, I choose to not act on my gay desires because I think scripture makes it pretty clear that that’s not God’s ideal plan for people. I’m not angry or jaded about that fact, nor do I look at sacrificing my own sexuality to God as a tragedy. To me, it’s simple obedience — and it is not shame-based.

Except that it is. The religious arguments against homosexuality are universally flaccid and based entirely on shaming someone for being who they are, and framing LGBT sex drives as unnatural abominations that should never be acted upon is the height of that shame.

The post in itself is a shame. Smith accurately points out a great many flaws in the church, such as the special level of judgment leveled at homosexuals and the philosophical bankruptcy of "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Unfortunately, rather than strongly stand by a statement saying the church and Bible are just flat-out wrong on homosexuality - just as they were with slavery - Smith accepts that his teenage addiction to pornography (colloquially known as "being a teenager") and his attraction to men and the wrongness of same-sex desire are in fact sinful flaws within his imperfect human self, but the church should just be nicer about pointing it out.

Smith is starting a YouTube series about the intersection of his faith and sexuality, and you can hear him speak for himself - and start placing bets as to when he will get caught hooking up in a gay bar - AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Grady Smith 'Comes Out' As Christian And Gay, But Won't Act On His Desires: VIDEO" »


140 Religious Leaders Petition For Exemption From Obama’s Pending LGBT Executive Order

IRFA letter on anti-discrimination in the workplace

On June 25 a group of about 140 religious leaders and advocates for religious freedom sent a letter to President Barack Obama to try and secure an exemption for faith-based groups in a pending executive order which aims to protect LGBT government contract workers from discrimination.

Barack obamaOrganized by the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, the letter does not endorse the pending order as the best way to curtail work discrimination. It also recommends the religious freedom protections that the Senate accepted in November 2013’s Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) bill, but requests additional protections.  

Although the House announced it would not vote on the legislation, the June 25 letter suggests that Obama adopt some of the religious exemption language from the bill.

The letter states that religious organizations that contract with the government to provide such services as overseas relief and development with USAID:

"Often are the best-qualified applicants for federal contracts or subcontracts. It would be counterproductive to bar them from offering their services to the federal government simply because of their legally protected religious convictions; it would be wrong to require them to violate those legally protected convictions in order to be eligible to receive federal contracts. Their exclusion from federal contracting would be diametrically opposed to the Administration's commitment to having 'all hands on deck' in the fight against poverty and other dire social problems."

However, a growing coalition of critics is urging Obama to drop the practice of allowing religious groups to hire and fire based on a person’s faith when they receive federal money, saying Obama is reneging on a promise he made in 2008. Obama, who originally campaigned against the Bush-era discrimination policy, said in 2008:

“If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them — or against the people you hire — on the basis of their religion."

Some of the religious leaders who signed the letter include: Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Christian Hispanic Leadership Conference and Hispanic Evangelical Association; Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland-A Church Distributed; Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; and George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

Additionally, the letter was signed - personally,rather than on behalf of their organizations - by the presidents of numerous Christian colleges, including Colorado Christian University, Houghton College, Biola University, Calvin College, Moody Bible Institute, and Denver Seminary.


50 UK Schools Teaching Homosexuality Is A Choice

Leaving fundamentalism blog

While the Trojan Horse investigation into an alleged Muslim plot to take over schools in Birmingham, England, has recently hit the headlines, less attention has been given to around fifty schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that follow a strict "fundamentalist" Christian curriculum.

Those schools are currently listed as using a curriculum provided by U.S.-based Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) which teaches that homosexuality is a choice, that AIDS can be avoided through religion, that evolution is a lie, and that abortion is wrong.

The majority of institutions using the ACE curriculum are private Christian schools. Students at these schools do not study for British state exams and instead prepare for an International Christian Certificate of Education.

One ACE textbook states that:

“Some people mistakenly believe that an individual is born a homosexual and his attraction to those of the same sex is normal. Because extensive tests have shown that there is no biological difference between homosexuals and others, these tests seem to prove that homosexuality is a learned behaviour. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is sin. In Old Testament times, God commanded that homosexuals be put to death. Since God never commanded death for normal or acceptable actions, it is as unreasonable to say that homosexuality is normal as it is to say that murder or stealing is normal.”

According to ACE King of Kings School Headteacher Brenda Lewis, the textbooks are "a starting point not a finishing point. As Christians we believe the Bible and we believe what the Bible says, and it does say a number of those things, but we are not single-issue people and we teach our students to think for themselves and realise there are a vast number of issues.”

Speaking to the BBC, Ben Medlock, a co-founder of the SwiftKey smartphone keyboard app, who attended Victory Christian School in Bath said his experience had been "broadly positive".

"While my own faith has evolved significantly from the conservatism of my childhood, I do feel that the values of the school provided students with a positive - though inevitably flawed - framework in which to view the world and interact with those around them."

However, according to Jonny Scaramanga, a former student of the same school who campaigns against the ACE curriculum and writes the blog Leaving Fundamentalism, the school adopted a "fundamentalist attitude" to religion.  Scaramanga added:

"If you believed what they believed, you were Christian. If you believed anything else, you were not Christian."


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