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Vanessa Collier died on December 30. Vanessa was a lesbian. According to ABC News:
Hundreds of Collier’s closest family and friends packed into New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colorado Saturday to celebrate her life. But minutes before the start of the funeral service, relatives say they were shocked to hear that the funeral service would not be able to continue. New Hope’s Pastor Ray Chavez informed the mourning family that the services for Collier would not be able to go on because of the “inappropriate” video that Collier’s family wanted displayed at her casket, relatives say. The video contained photos of Collier kissing her wife on the lips. Another photo captured Collier leaning down on one knee, proposing to her wife. Family members were told that they would be able to proceed with the funeral as long as those images were edited out of the video… Collier’s family decided that they would not edit the video, and instead moved the funeral to Newcomer Funeral Home, which is located across the street from the church. The family carried Collier’s flowers and photos to the funeral home. Collier’s casket had to be closed, placed in the hearse, and driven across the street.
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Controversy
I don’t mean to get all political.  That’s not the purpose of this post. But when it comes to homosexuality, and gay marriage in particular, culture has us pushed up against the wall. When the church disagrees with something that’s becoming socially acceptable, what is the best way to respond. Here, Rick Santorum, tries to respond with reason.  That clearly doesn’t work with this crowd of college students. And I’m sure that if he responded with a Biblical response as to why most Christians are opposed to gay marriage, it would have been much worse for him. I mean… how could a religious person be so intolerant and unloving? Watch, and you’ll see what I mean… http://youtu.be/CGzsHURVE7Q What is the best response to the question posed to Santorum?  Is there any answer that will make sense to the questioner? Is the issue of gay marriage going to keep us from the opportunity to share Jesus in the future? I think that’s the question. Because… if the leading thing we’re discussing is gay marriage, we’ll never get to the gospel. And yet if we don’t tell them what our view on gay marriage is, we feel like we’re backing down. What’s the solution? What’s YOUR solution?  What’s your CHURCH’s solution? (You’ll need to have one… and soon). I’d love to hear your thoughts. Video found here.    
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Controversy
Interesting post over at Out of Ur recently… they ask the question as to whether or not you would attend a same sex wedding ceremony.  They use a quote from Al Mohler that says they he thinks it would be difficult for a Christian to attend:
The traditional Christian ceremony, as reflected in The Book of Common Prayer, asks if anyone present knows of any reason why the couple should not be joined in holy matrimony. That is not intended as a hypothetical question. It is intended to ensure that no one present knows of any reason that the union should not be solemnized, recognized, and celebrated…. To remain silent at that point is to abdicate theological and biblical responsibility. Even if the question is not formally asked in the ceremony, the issue remains. We cannot celebrate what we know to be wrong.
Interesting dilemma.  One I really hadn’t thought of. To be honest, I don’t know that I’m going to be invited to a same sex ceremony any time soon. But I bet my kids or grandkids will. How should they respond? Mohler says, “We cannot celebrate what we know to be wrong.” Agree.  But sometimes we do.  It’s just not same sex marriage we’re celebrating. When one of our kids or a family we know has a kid who has a child out of wedlock, it does put us in a somewhat awkward situation at times.  Do we celebrate this new child who was conceived ‘in sin’? That seems a little more pragmatic a thing for most of us to talk about than whether we’d attend a same sex marriage ceremony. After all, we can’t celebrate something we know to be wrong.  Right? Maybe I’m getting too caught up in the word ‘celebrate’.  But we deal with people everyday that have ugly sin attached to their lives:  they may be divorced, or a drunk, or a liar, or a thief, or a gossip, or a glutton, or may interpret scripture on an issue totally different than we do. Don’t get me wrong.  Taking a stand is important.  But so is not being a… well a word that I shouldn’t print here.  It seems like a fine line that most of us Christians don’t manage very well. Do you agree with Mohler’s statement?  And where do YOU draw the line? Would you attend a same sex ceremony?  Would you ‘celebrate’ at the baby shower of a baby conceived out of wedlock?  Aren’t these kind of the same thing only one is more social acceptable than the other? Call me crazy. Todd
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Trends
A slim majority of Americans now support gay marriage, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The results underscore the nation’s increasingly tolerant views about homosexuals, and parallel a string of recent legal and legislative victories for gay rights advocates. Five years ago, at 36 percent, support for gay marriage barely topped a third of all Americans. Now, 53 percent say gay marriage should be legal, marking the first time in Post-ABC polling that a majority has said so. “This is very consistent with a lot of other polling data we’ve seen and the general momentum we’ve seen over the past year and a half,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, a leading pro-gay-marriage group. “As people have come to understand this is about loving, committed families dealing, like everyone, with tough times, they understand how unfair it is to treat them differently.” via The Washington Post. If we polled YOUR church… what percentage of your weekend crowd do you think would say they are supportive of gay marriage?
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Controversy
OK… here’s another quote for you to digest and think about and comment on…
“Until we are allowed to marry everybody, we aren’t going to marry anybody. Is everybody happy? No. But there’s been no mass exodus and we didn’t implode”
Laura Marsh, a member of a Presbyterian church in Iowa said this in a newspaper article recently. via Contemporary church battle echoes past struggles; valuable lessons overlooked – The Independent Collegian. The lines are being drawn.  In more liberal mainline churches right now.  But get ready.  It’s coming. How will you respond?
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