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Controversy
From a press release, January 31: What if Starbucks lost 80% of its customers? Christians across the USA are boycotting Starbucks for promoting homosexual ‘marriage’ in Washington State. There is an 80% Christian majority in the USA and 1-2% homosexuals. “Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God, but we are glad to know that Starbucks doesn’t pretend to be for Christians,” said Pastor Steven Andrew, who is president of USA Christian Ministries. He calls every Christian and church to boycott Starbucks. Leviticus 22:18 says, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” “This boycott is important because God blesses those who obey Him and judges those who don’t obey Him (2 Chronicles 19:2),” he adds. Don’t expect to hear sermons with “grab your Starbucks” or to see Starbucks served at churches. “Starbucks is no longer fashionable. If your church still uses Starbucks, then your pastor is a friend of the world,” he adds. God calls those who oppose Him “haters of God” (Romans 1:30). It is hoped that Christians will quickly share this boycott with their church. /// How many ways is this wrong?    
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Controversy
According to the San Francisco Chronicle: Most Holy Redeemer Church, a Catholic parish in the middle of the Castro, is in trouble again with church leaders over how best to minister to its heavily gay and lesbian congregation. In the latest incident, Archbishop George Niederauer had the church’s pastor, the Rev. Steve Meriwether, rescind invitations to a trio of gay-friendly clergy scheduled to speak at a series of pre-Christmas evening services. “The archbishop felt the speakers were inappropriate for the season of Advent, which should be a time to reflect on the coming of Christ,” said George Wesolek, a spokesman for the archdiocese. There was no comment from the parish, where a church secretary said Meriwether was out on medical leave. The action disappointed, but did not surprise the Rev. Roland Stringfellow, a minister for the gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Church, who had been scheduled to speak Wednesday. “It’s ironic and hypocritical that the Catholic Church has a ‘Come home’ ad campaign going on right now,” he said. “Clearly, not everyone is welcome within the Catholic Church.” The program’s first intended speaker, retired Episcopal Bishop Otis Charles, echoed those concerns. The decision to bar him and the others from speaking is another indication that the Catholic Church hierarchy’s position is that “those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual are less than OK.” Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/22/BAH81MFU18.DTL#ixzz1hgg4CdQz // Really?  Seriously?  I think the quote at the end is a little over the top: “those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual are less than OK.” Maybe a better, more accurate quote would have been “those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual are less than OK to be a spokesman and speaker at our church which does not condone their lifestyle.” Yeah… that sounds a little better. I’m telling you… the homosexual issue is THE issue for the Christian church to contend and deal with in the next decade. How will YOUR church respond?  Especially when you’re confronted with lambasting comments like these? Todd
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Current Events
Thirty-three of the United Methodist Church’s 85 retired bishops have signed a statement asking the church to reconsider its policy banning gays and lesbians from becoming ministers. Retired bishop Don Ott wrote and distributed the statement along with retired bishop Sharon Rader. Ott said the idea came after he and Rader talked about having been troubled for a number of years by the policy. Ott said the denomination has lost the talents of gays and lesbians who had the gift for ministry but could not serve. He has also seen straight church leaders and seminarians who have left the denomination because their consciences would not allow them to support the policy. Ott hopes the statement that was released last week engages the church on the issue and influences next year’s General Conference, the denomination’s lawmaking body. via Some retired Methodist bishops seek policy change on gay pastors. Thoughts?
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