Agree or Disagree: Pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples should be prosecuted.


Going to Christian churches, there are certain things that you hear that makes you shake your head.  As an example,from time to time, you might hear comments about the coming “End Times.”

One of the things I heard some Pastors say was in regards to the legalizing same-sex marriages. There was concern that if they as a Pastor refused to perform a same-sex marriage, they could be prosecuted. Personally, I didn’t see that coming. As a matter of fact, I seem to remember this concern was addressed.

However, apparently in Idaho, something has changed.

If this story is true, there appears to be a movement to prosecute Pastors who refuse to perform same sex marriages.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp are Ministers in Coeur d’Alene.  They were told to perform a same sex marriage or face jail time and a $1,000 fine.

Too be clear, the above story has had several clarifications and disputes.

This is just one example. This is a response from the New Civil Rights Movement to the story which you can read here.

I’m going to let you read the story. Then, I simply am going to ask this question.  I’m curious where this goes.

Do you think Pastors who refuse to marry same-sex couples should be prosecuted under the law? Should the face jail time? Should they be fined?

Do you think that the Pastors that are concerned about being forced to marry same-sex couples have something too be concerned about?

Why or why not?

Agree or Disagree: Faith based schools should lose their accreditation because of policy on homosexuality


  You might have heard what has happened at Trinity Western University. Perhaps, like me, you know some people who have attended there. 

You also might have heard some good things about the school. In Christianity, they have a really strong reputation.

Unfortunately, they are in some current trouble. I fear that the impact of this decision could impact future faith based schools.

You see, Trinity Western University is planning to open a law school in 2016. The problem? Because of their stance on homosexuality, provinces like Ontario and Nova Scotia do not want to give TWU students accreditation.

 

Their stance? Well, like many conservative Christians,  marriage is between a man and a woman. 

What is their stance? Well, actually it’s not just about homosexuality. They have their 3,600 students sign a covenant that they will not participate in ANY sexual activity until they are married. 

Now there a couple of things that are really clear to me.  The first thing is, I’m guessing a high majority of the students that have been or go to TWU are aware of their policies. Many in the Christian community that attend publicly agree with them. I say publicly because it is possible that some… violated the covenant. That is a separate topic. But the students made a choice to better themselves with an education at Trinity Western University. To better their education and their faith.

The second thing is this. Trinity Western University is not the only institution in the world that has this policy. There are many. Too many to count. If you are going to threaten or challenge accreditation, how many more will you challenge?

The third thing is this. I know I said two, but there is an important point.  The stances that TWU represent are not only in TWU or in a Christian University. It would be anywhere. How this “policy” is challenged going forward will be interesting.

Now, it’s that I agree fully with TWU’s policies. However, I do respect the freedom for them to have them. If they are providing a quality education for students, why should they have their accreditation challenged?

I leave that for you to Agree or Disagree with.

 

 

Agree or Disagree: Justin Bieber is being bullied.


Agree or Disagree: This man is being bullied.

You know who this is,

This picture has been all over the internet today. You might have heard that he was arrested for DUI and drag racing charges in Miami.

Now, I went on Twitter and the conversation was quite interesting.

Some felt he was getting what he deserved.

Others wanted to remind us that he is depressed. That he is a victim of some terrible circumstances and he deserves a break. They feel that these attacks are not fair and he deserves your compassion.

What do you think of the treatment of Justin Bieber today?

Agree or Disagree: The Lords Prayer should be kept out of schools. A perspective from someone who prays.


“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:5- 15 (New International Version)

It is rather unfortunate that a concept like prayer has turned into an attempt to prove that we as a country are a “Christian Nation”.

It is also rather unfortunate that a concept like prayer is something that people feel is being imposed on them.

Because prayer is not that at all.

Prayer is actually a beautiful spiritual practice. It grounds you, it can give you peace and perspective. It can give you comfort in a time of mourning.It can also give you strength in a time of weakness. 

It’s not a show. It’s not something to use to make one feel inferior and others fells uncomfortable. It’s not a magic potion that solves the world. It is a powerful practice that many that have participated in have benefited from.

It is rather unfortunate that we are having a debate about whether or not the Lords Prayer should be kept out of schools. Why? Because I really feel that prayer has been misrepresented. 

If we look at the above words from Jesus, we will notice something. First, Jesus calls this practice to be in secret. Example,

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Second,He also challenges our words. Example,

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

This is all done before the Lords Prayer is actually recited.

Prayer was being used a political gain for many who were “religious”. And Jesus challenged it. And quite frankly, I think He might challenge some of the thinking of those wanting the Lords Prayer in schools. Why? 

Because as well intended the idea is, the problem is not everyone prays. Not only that, prayer is not something that God forces upon people Himself. There is an invitation to pray. But it is not forced. Therefore, if there is a perception by some that they are being forced to pray something that is not meaningful to them, then we missed the mark.

However, for those that feel that  prayer should be kept out of schools, I would say that you are missing the mark as well. Many wise and well practiced people have taken the practice of prayer seriously. You might not know them, because they have taken Jesus words and have done it in secret. But they are out there.They are not trying to impose anything on you, but they know the effectiveness of prayer and continue to pray to this day.

Should the Lords Prayer be kept out of schools? I’m not sure that’s the right question anymore.

 The question we should ask is what is prayer in the first place?

 

Agree or Disagree: If you love someone, set them free.


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It’s something I have heard in the past after a breakup. Not that I’m going through a breakup now, but it something I have heard. Maybe you have heard it too.

If you love someone, set them free.

In many ways, if you are going through a heartbreak, it’s hard to hear that. I don’t know if it really should be said to someone unless you really know them.

However, there seems to be something powerful about setting things free. Both for yourself and the person you are holding on too.

What do you think?

Agree or Disagree: Atheists are persecuted against..


Agree or Disagree: Atheists are persecuted against..

Quite often, you will hear a story that Christians are persecuted for their faith around the world.

You might also hear a story about Muslims feeling persecuted for their faith,

It is not often that you hear about Atheists being persecuted. But there have been studies that this has happened.

According to a report called “Freedom of Thought 2012”, there are laws that deny atheists right to exist, curtail the freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, and restrict their right to marry.

This was also in the article above.

Other laws “obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents.

Also, according to the article, and I did not know this, there are at least 7 U.S. States that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas has a law that bans an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial.

As a Christian, I have been made aware of issues around the world of persecution of Christianity. I have been warned in some church circles that as a Christian that I would be persecuted for my faith.However, I have never looked at Atheists been challenged or persecuted for their beliefs.

So, do you see or agree with this statement?

Also, perhaps is it good to have discussion around what people think persecution is?