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Current Events
C.J. Mahaney, one of the leaders of the resurgence in Calvinism among some conservative evangelicals, is taking a leave of absence from his ministry due to unspecific but serious charges, he and his board have announced. Mahaney has been president of the Maryland-based Sovereign Grace Ministries, a church-planting network that says it has 97 churches here and abroad. They are mainly clustered on the East Coast — none in Kentucky or Indiana — with others scattered throughout the country and abroad. But his influence extends beyond that church, as he is a popular author and speaker. He was one of the main speakers at a Together for the Gospel convention that drew thousands of attendees last year to the Kentucky International Convention Center. He appeared on a program that included Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Minnesota pastor John Piper and other A-list speakers from the New Calvinist movement, which promotes beliefs in such things as in male authority in churches and homes, the divine direction of events rather than human free will, and church discipline of its members. via ‘Serious’ charges vs. popular pastor, author Mahaney | Faith & Works.
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Trends
Al Mohler recently wrote a post on how he feels the church in facing a moral revolution in the area of homosexuality.  Read this and see if you agree… The liberal churches and denominations have an easy way out of this predicament. They simply accommodate themselves to the new moral reality. By now the pattern is clear: These churches debate the issue, with conservatives arguing to retain the older morality and liberals arguing that the church must adapt to the new one. Eventually, the liberals win and the conservatives lose. Next, the denomination ordains openly gay candidates or decides to bless same-sex unions. This is a route that evangelical Christians committed to the full authority of the Bible cannot take. Since we believe that the Bible is God’s revealed word, we cannot accommodate ourselves to this new morality. We cannot pretend as if we do not know that the Bible clearly teaches that all homosexual acts are sinful, as is all human sexual behavior outside the covenant of marriage. We believe that God has revealed a pattern for human sexuality that not only points the way to holiness, but to true happiness. Thus we cannot accept the seductive arguments that the liberal churches so readily adopt. The fact that same-sex marriage is a now a legal reality in several states means that we must further stipulate that we are bound by scripture to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman—and nothing else. We do so knowing that most Americans once shared the same moral assumptions, but that a new world is coming fast. We do not have to read the polls and surveys; all we need to do is to talk to our neighbors or listen to the cultural chatter. In this most awkward cultural predicament, evangelicals must be excruciatingly clear that we do not speak about the sinfulness of homosexuality as if we have no sin. As a matter of fact, it is precisely because we have come to know ourselves as sinners and of our need for a savior that we have come to faith in Jesus Christ. Our greatest fear is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins. This is not a concern that is easily expressed in sound bites. But it is what we truly believe. It is now abundantly clear that evangelicals have failed in so many ways to meet this challenge. We have often spoken about homosexuality in ways that are crude and simplistic. We have failed to take account of how tenaciously sexuality comes to define us as human beings. We have failed to see the challenge of homosexuality as a Gospel issue. We are the ones, after all, who are supposed to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin, starting with our own. We have demonstrated our own form of homophobia—not in the way that activists have used that word, but in the sense that we have been afraid to face this issue where it is most difficult . . . face to face. Read more at anglicansunited.com. What do you think? Is his main point that we have talked about homosexuality without actual talking to homosexuals?  If so, that could be a great point, and a huge mistake for the church over the past 20 years.  You almost never reach people when you talk about them.  Your chances dramatically increase when you talk WITH them. What will the evangelical church look like on the subject of homosexuality in 10 years?  Will this still be a huge item of contention?  Will ‘the liberals’ win?  If 90% of the culture equates homosexuality and heterosexuality, how will/should the church respond? Pretty heady questions for today… but I’d love to hear your input… Thanks, Todd
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Controversy
In his June 15 comments at the SBC meeting, Mohler — president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. — said Christians have “not done well on this issue,” have told only “half the truth” regarding homosexuality and have practiced a “certain form of homophobia.” He went on to say it’s “clear that it’s more than a choice” and is “not something that people can just turn on and turn off.” He also was clear in calling homosexuality a sin. via Baptist Press Do you agree with Mohler? Is this a change in his view?  (I’m not sure about him personally)… but it’s the first time I’ve heard any consideration from most conservative folk that homosexuality is ‘more than a choice’.  Have I been missing something, or is this a somewhat significant shift? Todd
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